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Shahrazed relating a story to the Sultan 











Copyright, 1909 
Bv P. F. Collier & Son 




Introduction 5 


The Story of the Merchant and the Jinni .... 17 

The Story of the First Sheykh and the Gazelle . . 20 
The Story of the Second Sheykh and the Two 

Black Hounds 23 

The Story of the Third Sheykh and the Mule . . 26 


The Story of the Fisherman 28 

The Story of King Runan and the Sage Duban . . S3 

The Story of the Husband and the Parrot . . ■ 37 
The Story of the Envious Wezir and the Prince and 

the Ghuleh 39 

The Story of the Young King of the Black Islands 50 

NIGHTS 9—18 

The Story of the Porter and the Ladies of Baghdad, 
and op the Three Royal Mendicants, Etc. ... 60 

The Story of the First Royal Mendicant 71 

The Story of the Second Royal Mendicant .... 78 

The Story of the Envier and the Envied 84 

The Story of the Third Royal Mendicant .... 94 
The Story of the First of the Three Ladies of 

Baghdad 107 

The Story of the Second of the Three Ladies of 
Baghdad iiS 

HC XVI— A 1 


NIGHTS 24—32 

The Story of the Humpback 

The Story Told by the Christian Broker . 
The Story Told by the Sultan's Steward . 
The Story Told by the Jewish Physician 

The Story Told by the Tailor 

The Barber's Story of Himself 

The Barber's Story of His First Brother 
The Barber's Story of His Second Brother 
The Barber's Story of His Third Brother 
The Barber's Story of His Fourth Brother 

The Barber's Fifth Brother 

The Barber's Story of His Sixth Brother 



NIGHTS 2>2—z(i 
The Story of Nur-Ed-Din and Enis-El-Jelis 


NIGHTS 537-566 
The Story of Es-Sindibad of the Sea and Es-Sindibad 

of the Land 242 



The First Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea . 
The Second Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 
The Third Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea . 
The Fourth Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 
The Fifth Voyage of Es-Sindiead of the Sea . 
The Sixth Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 
The Seventh Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

NIGHTS 566—578 
The Story of the City of Brass 310 

NIGHTS 738-756 
The Story of Jullanar of the Sea 340 


The Story of 'Ala-ed-Din and the VVoxni:RFUL Lamp 355 
The Story of 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves . . 443 


"Thb Thousand and One Nights" \s one of the great story- 
books of the world. It Zi'as introduced to European readers by 
the French scholar Galland, zvho discovered the Arabic original 
and translated it into French in the first decade of the eighteenth 
century; but its earlier history is still involved in obscurity. 
There existed as early as the tenth century of our era a Persian 
''collection of a thousand tales, enclosed in a framework which is 
practically the one used in the present collection, telling of a King 
who was in the habit of killing his zvives after the first night, and 
who was led to abandon this practise by the cleverness of the 
Wecir's daughter, who nightly told him a tale which she left un- 
finished at dawHj so that his curiosity led him to spare her till 
the tale should be completed. Whether more than the framework 
of the Arabian collection was borrowed from this Persian work 
is uncertain. The tales in the collection of Galland and in more 
complete editions discovered since his time are chiefly Persian, 
Indian, and Arabian in source, and in ultimate origin come from 
all the ends of the earth. No tzvo manuscripts have precisely the 
same contents, and some of the most famous of the tales here 
printed are probably not properly to be regarded as belonging to 
the collection, but owe their association with the others to their 
having been included by Galland. Thus " 'AH Bab a and the Forty 
Thieves" is found in no Oriental version of the "Nights," an£ 
"'Ala-ed-Din and the Wonderful Lamp" was long supposed to be 
in the same situation, though within recent years it has turi^cd 
up in two manuscripts. 

Both the place and the date of the original compilation are still 
matters of dispute among scholars. From such evidences ais the 
detailed nature of the references to Cairo and the prevailing 
Mohammedan background. Lane argued that it must have been 
put together in Egypt ; but this opinion is by no means universally 
accepted. As to date, estimates vary by several centuries. Burton, 
who believed in a strong Persian element, thought that^ow£.^f ^ 
the oldest tales, such as that of "Sindibad," might be as old as the 
eighth century of our era; some thirteen he dated tenth century, 
and the latest in the sixteenth. There is a fair amount of agree- 
ment on the thirteenth century as the date of arrangement in the 



present framework, though they were probably not committed to 
writing till some two centuries later. 

Of a collection of fables, fairy-stories, and anecdotes of his- 
torical personages such as this, there can, of course, be no ques- 
tion of a single author. Both before and after they were placed 
in the mouth of Shahrazad, they were handed down by oral reci- 
tation, the usual form of story-telling among the Arabs. As in 
the case of our own popular ballads, whatever marks of individual 
authorship any one story may originally have borne, would be 
obliterated in the course of generations of tradition by word of 
mouth. Of the personality of an original editor or compiler, even, 
we have no trace. Long after writing had to some extent fixed 
their forms, the oral repetition went on; and some of them could 
be heard in Mohammedan countries almost down to our own 

In the two hundred years of their currency in the West, the 
stories of the "Nights" have engrafted themselves upon European 
culture. They have made the fairy-land of the Oriental imagina- 
tion and the mode of life of the medieval Arab, his manners and 
his morals, fainiliar to young and old; and allusions to their inci- 
dents and personages are wrought into the language and literature 
of all the modern civilised peoples. Their mark is found upon 
music and painting as well as on letters and the common speech, 
as is witnessed by such diverse results of their inspiration as the 
music of Rimsky-Korsakoff , the illustrations of Parrish, and 
the marvelous idealization of their background and atmosphere 
in Tennyson's "Recollections of the Arabian Nights," "Barmecide 
Feast," "Open Sesame," "Old Lamps for New," "Solomon's 
Seal," "The Old Man of the Sea," "The Slave of the Lamp,' 
"The Valley of Diamonds," "The Roc's Egg," Haroun al-Raschid 
and his "Garden of Delight," — these and many more phrases and 
allusions of every-day occurrence suggest how pervasive has been 
the influence of this wonder-book of the mysterious East. 

The translation by E. IV. Lane used here has been the stand- 
ard English version for general reading for eighty years. The 
translations of "'AH Baba" and " 'Ala-cd-Din" are by S. 
Poole and for permi-ssion to use the latter we arc indebted to 
Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 


In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. 

Praise be to God, the Beneficent King, the Creator of the 
universe, who hath raised the heavens without pillars, and spread 
out the earth as a bed ; and blessing and peace be on the lord of 
apostles, our lord and our master Mohammad, and his Family; 
blessing and peace, enduring and constant, unto the day of 

To proceed : — The lives of former generations are a lesson 
to posterity ; that a man may review the remarkable events which 
have happened to others, and be admonished ; and may consider 
the history of people of preceding ages, and of all tliat hath 
befallen them, and be restrained. Extolled be the perfection of 
Him who hath thus ordained the history of former generations 
to be a lesson to those which follow. Such are the Tales of 
a Thousand and One Nights, with their romantic stories and 
their fables. 

It is related (but God alone is all-knowing, as well as all-wise, 
and almighty, and all-bountiful), that there was, in ancient 
times, a King of the countries of India and China, possessing 
numerous troops, and guards, and servants, and domestic de- 
pendents ; and he had two soils ; one of ;whom was a man of 
mature age; and the other, a youth. Both of these princes were 
brave horsemen ; but especially the elder, who inherited the 
kingdom of his father, and governed his subjects with such justice 
that the inhabitants of his country and whole empire loved him. 
He was called King Shahriyar : his younger brother was named 
Shah-Zeman,' and was King of Samarkand. The administration 
of their governments was conducted with rectitude, each of them 
ruling over his subjects with justice during a period of twenty 
years with the utmost enjoyment and happiness. After this 

1 [Shahriyar, " Friend of the City; " Shah-Zcman, " King of the Age."] 



period, the elder King felt a strong desire to see his brother, 
and ordered his Wezir* to repair to him and bring him. 

Having taken the advice of the Wezir on this subject, he 
immediately gave orders to prepare handsome presents, such as 
horses adorned with gold and costly jewels, and memluks,' and 
beautiful virgins, and expensive stuffs. He then wrote a letter 
to his brother, expressive of his great desire to see him; and 
having sealed it, and given it to the Wezir, together with the 
presents above mentioned, he ordered the minister to strain his 
nerves, and tuck up his skirts, and use all expedition in returning. 
The Wezir answered, without delay, I hear and obey; and forth- 
with prepared for the journey: he packed his baggage, removed 
the burdens, and made ready all his provisions within three days ; 
and on the fourth day, he took leave of the King Shahriyar, and 
went forth towards the deserts and wastes. He proceeded night 
and day; and each of the kings under the authority of King 
Shahriyar by whose residence he passed came forth to meet him, 
with costly presents, and gifts of gold and silver, and entertained 
him three days; after which, on the fourth day, he accompanied 
him one day's journey, and took leave of him. Thus he continued 
on his way until he drew near to the city of Samar'cand, when 
he sent forward a messenger to inform King Shah-Zeman of 
his approach. The messenger entered the city, inquired the 
way to the palace, and, introducing himself to the King, kissed 
the ground before him, and acquainted him with the approach 
of his brother's Wezir ; upon which Shah-Zeman ordered the 
chief officers of his court, and the great men of his kingdom, 
to go forth a day's journey to meet him; and they did so; and 
when they met him, they welcomed him, and walked by his 
stirrups until they returned to the city. The Wezir then pre- 
sented himself before the King Shah-Zeman, greeted him with 
a prayer for the divine assistance in his favour, kissed the 
ground before him, and informed him of his brother's desire 
to see him; after which he handed to him the letter. The King 
took it, read it, and understood its contents; and answered by 
expressing his readiness to obey the commands of his brother. 
But, said he (addressing the Wezir), I will not go until I have 
entertained thee three days. Accordingly, he lodged him in a 

' [In Persian and Turkish, Vezir; popular, \'i7ier.] 
* Male white slaves. 


palace befitting his rank, accommodated his troops in tents, and 
appointed them all things requisite in the way of food and 
drink : and so they remained three days. On the fourth day, 
he equipped himself for the journey, made ready his baggage, 
and collected together costly presents suitable to his brother's 

These preparations being completed, he sent forth his tents 
and camels and mules and servants and guards, appointed his 
Wezir to be governor of the country during his absence, and 
set out towards his brother's dominions. At midnight, however, 
he remembered that he had left in his palace an article which he 
should have brought with him ; and having returned to the 
palace to fetch it, he there beheld his wife sleeping in his bed, 
and attended by a male negro slave, who had fallen asleep by i; 
her side. 

On beholding this scene, the world became black before 
his eyes; and he said within himself, If this is the case when .^^ 
I have not departed from the city, what will be the conduct of /^ 
this vile woman while I am sojourning with my brother? He 
then drew his sword, and slew them both in the bed : after which 
he immediately returned, gave orders for departure, and jour- 
neyed to his brother's capital. 

Shahriyar, rejoicing at the tidings of his approach, went forth 
to meet him, saluted him, and welcomed him with the utmost de- 
light. He then ordered that the city should be decorated on the 
occasion, and sat down to entertain his brother with cheerful con- 
versation : but the mind of King Shah-Zeman was distracted 
by reflections upon the conduct of his wife; excessive grief took 
possession of him ; and his countenance became sallow ; and his 
frame emaciated. His brother observed his altered condition, and, 
imagining that it was occasioned by his absence from his domin- 
ions, abstained from troubling him or asking respecting the 
cause, until after the lapse of some days, when at length he 
said to him, O my brother, I perceive that thy body is emaciated, 
and thy countenance is become sallow. He answered, O brother, 
I have an internal sore: — and he informed him not of the con- 
duct of his wife which he had witnessed. Shahriyar then said, 
I wish that thou wouldest go out with me on a hunting excur- 
sion ; perhaps thy mind might so be diverted : — but he declined ; 
and Shahriyar went alone to the chase. 


Now there were some windows in the King's palace com- 
manding a view of his garden ; and while his brother was looking 
out from one of these, a door of the palace was opened, and 
there came forth from it twenty females and twenty male black 
slaves; and the King's wife, who was distinguished by extraor- 
dinary beauty and elegance, accompanied them to a fountain, 
where they all disrobed themselves, and sat down together. The 
King's wife then called out, O Mes'ud! and immediately a black 
slave came to her, and embraced her; she doing the like. So 
also did the other slaves and the women ; and all of them con- 
tinued revelling together until the close of the day. When Shah- 
Zeman beheld this spectacle, he said within himself, By Allah ! 
my affliction is lighter than this ! His vexation and grief were 
alleviated, and he no longer abstained from sufficient food and 

When his brother returned from his excursion, and they had 
saluted each other, and King Shahriyar observed his brother 
Shah-Zeman, that his colour had returned, that his face had 
recovered the flush of health, and that he ate with appetite, after 
his late abstinence, he was surprised, and said, O my brother, 
when I saw thee last, thy countenance was sallow, and now thy 
colour hath returned to thee : acquaint me with thy state. — As 
to the change of my natural complexion, answered Shah-Zeman, 
I will inform thee of its cause; but excuse my explaining to 
thee the return of my colour. — First, said Shahriyar, relate to 
me the cause of the change of thy proper complexion, and of 
thy weakness : let me hear it. — Know then, O my brother, he 
answered, that when thou sentest thy Wezir to me to invite 
me to thy presence, I prepared myself for the journey, and when 
I had gone forth from the city, I remembered that I had left 
behind me the jewel that I have given thee; I therefore returned 
to my palace for it, and there I found my wife sleeping in my 
bed, and attended by a black male slave ; and I killed them both, 
and came to thee: but my mind was occupied by reflections 
upon this affair, and this was the cause of the change of my 
complexion, and of my weakness : now, as to the return of my 
colour, excuse my informing thee of its cause. — But when his 
brother heard these words, he said, I conjure thee by Allah that 
thou acquaint me with the cause of the return of thy colour : — 
so he repeated to liiin all that he had seen. I would see this, said 


Shahriyar, with my own eye. — Then, said Shah-Zeman, give out 
that thou art going again to the chase, and conceal thyself here 
with me, and tiiou shalt witness this conduct, and obtain ocular 
proof of it. 

Shahriyar, upon this, immediately announced that it was his 
intention to make another excursion. The troops went out 
of the city with the tents, and the King followed them ; and 
after he had reposed awhile in the camp, he said to his servants. 
Let no one come in to me: — and he disguised himself, and re- 
turned to his brother in the palace, and sat in one of the windows 
overlooking the garden ; and when he had been there a short 
time, the women and their mistress entered the garden with the 
black slaves, and did as his brother had described, continuing 
so until the hour of the afternoon-prayer. 

When King Shahriyar beheld this occurrence, reason fled 
from his head, and he said to his brother, Shah-Zeman, Arise, 
and let us travel whither we please, and renounce the regal state, 
until we see whether such a calamity as this have befallen any 
other person like unto us ; and if not, our death will be preferable 
to our life. His brother agreed to his proposal, and they went 
out from a private door of the palace, and journeyed continually, 
days and nights, until they arrived at a tree in the midst of a 
meadow, by a spring of water, on the shore of the sea. They 
drank of this spring, and sat down to rest; and when the day 
had a little advanced, the sea became troubled before them, and 
there arose from it a black pillar, ascending towards the sky, and 
approaching the meadow. Struck with fear at the sight, they 
climbed up into the tree, which was lofty; and thence they gazed 
to see what this might be : and behold, it was a Jinni* of gigantic 
stature, broad-fronted and bulkyj bearing on his head a chest. 

* Sing, of Jinn (Genii), being created of fire. The species of Jinn is said 
to have been created some thousands of years before Adam. According to 
a tradition from the Prophet, this species consists of five orders or classes; 
namely, Jann (who are the least powerful of all), Jinn, Sheytans (or Devils), 
'Efrits, and Marids. The last, it is added, are the most powerful; and the 
Jann are transformed Jinn; like as certain apes and swine were transformed 
men. The terms Jinn and Jann, however, are generally usid indiscrimi- 
nately, as names of the whole species (including the other orders above 
mentioned), whether pood or bad; tne former term is the more common. 
[Iblis is Satan, their King.] " Sheytan " is commonly used to signify any 
evil Jinn. An 'Efrit is a powerful evil Jinni: a Marid, an evil Jinni of the 
mopt powerful class. The Jinn (but generally speaking, evil ones) are 
called by the Persians Divs; the most powerful evil Jinn, Narahs (which 
signifies "_ males." though they are said to be males and females) ; the good 
Jinn, Pecis, though this term is commonly applied to females. 


He landed, and came to the tree into which the two Kings had 
climbed, and, having seated himself beneath it, opened the 
chest, and took out of it another box, which he also opened; and 
there came forth from it a young woman, fair and beautiful, 
like the shining sun. When the Jinni cast his eyes upon her, 
he said, O lady of noble race, whom I carried off on thy wedding- 
night, I have a desire to sleep a little : and he placed his head 
upon her knee, and slept. The damsel then raised her head 
towards the tree, and saw there the two Kings; upon which she 
removed the head of the Jinni from her knee, and, having 
placed it on the ground, stood under the tree, and made signs 
to the two Kings, as though she would say. Come down, and 
fear not this 'Efrit. They answered her. We conjure thee by 
Allah that thou excuse us in this matter. But she said, I conjure 
you by the same that ye come down; and if ye do not, I will 
rouse this 'Efrit, and he shall put you to a cruel death. So, 
being afraid, they came down to her; and, after they had re- 
mained with her as long as she required, she took from her 
pocket a purse, and drew out from this a string, upon which were 
ninetj^-eight seal-rings ; and she said to them, Know ye what 
are these? They answered. We know not. — The owners of these 
rings, said she, have, all of them, been admitted to converse 
with me, like as ye have, unknown to this foolish 'Efrit; there- 
fore, give me your two rings, ye brothers. So they gave her 
their two rings from their fingers; and then she said to them. 
This 'Efrit carried me off on my wedding-night, and put me in 
the box, and placed the box in the chest, and affixed to the chest 
seven locks, and deposited me, thus imprisoned, in the bottom 
of the roaring sea, beneath the dashing waves ; not knowing that, 
when one of our sex desires to accomplish any object, nothing 
can prevent her. In accordance with this, says one of the poets : 

Never trust in women ; nor rely upon their vows ; 
For their pleasure and displeasure depend upon their passions. 
They offer a false affection ; for perfidy lurks within their clothing. 
By the tale of Yusuf be admonished, and guard against their 

Dost thou not consider that Iblis ejected Adam by means of 

woman ? 

And another poet says : — 


Abstain from censure ; for it will strengthen the censured, and 

increase desire into violent passion. 
If I suffer such passion, my case is but the same as that of many a 

man before me : 
For greatly indeed to be wondered at is he who hath kept himself 

safe from women's artifice. 

When the two Kings heard these words from her lips they 
were struck with the utmost astonishment, and said, one to 
the other. If this is an 'Efrit, and a greater calamity hath hap- 
pened unto him than that which hath befallen us, this is a cir- 
cumstance that should console us : — and immediately they de- 
parted, and returned to the city. 

As soon as they had entered the palace, Shahriyar caused his 
wife to be beheaded, and in like manner the women and black 
slaves ; and thenceforth he made it his regular custom, every 
time that he took a virgin to his bed, to kill her at the ex- 
piration of the night. Thus he continued to do during a period of 
three years ; and the people raised an outcry against him, and 
fled with their daughters, and there remained not a virgin in 
the city of a sufficient age for marriage. Such was the case 
when the King ordered the Wezir to bring him a virgin accord- 
ing to his custom ; and the Wezir went forth and searched, and 
found none ; and he went back to his house enraged and vexed, 
fearing what the King might do to him. 

Now the Wezir had two daughters ; the elder of whom was 
named Shahrazad ; and the younger, Dunyzad. The former had 
read various books of histories, and the lives of preceding kings, 
and stories of past generations: it is asserted that she had col- 
lected together a thousand books of histories, relating to pre- 
ceding generations and kings, and works of the poets: and she 
said to her father on this occasion, Why do I see thee thus 
changed, and oppressed with solicitude and sorrows? It has 
been said by one of the poets : — 

Tell him who is oppressed with anxiety, that anxiety will not last : 
As happiness passeth away, so passeth away anxiety. 

When the Wezir heard these words from his daughter, he re- 
lated to her all that had happened to him with regard to 
the King: upon which she said. By Allah, O my father, give me 
in marriage to this King: either I shall die, and be a ransom 


for one of the daughters of the Muslims, or I shall live, and 
be the cause of their deliverance from him. 1 conjure thee 
by Allah, exclaimed he, that thou expose not thyself to such 
peril : — but she said, It must be so. Then, said he, I fear for 
thee that the same will befall thee that happened in the case 
of the Ass and the Bull and the husbandman. — And what, she 
asked, was that, O my father? 

Know, O my daughter, said the Wezir, that there was a certain 
merchant, who possessed wealth and cattle, and had a wife 
and children ; and God, whose name be exalted, had also en- 
dowed him with the knowledge of the languages of beasts and 
birds. The abode of this merchant was in the countrj-; and 
he had, in his house, an ass and a bull. When the bull came 
to the place where the ass was tied, he found it swept and 
sprinkled; in his manger were sifted barley and sifted cut 
straw, and the ass was lying at his ease; his master being 
accustomed only to ride him occasionally, when business required, 
and soon to return: and it happened, one day, that the merchant 
overheard the bull saying to the ass, May thy food benefit thee ! 
I am oppressed with fatigue, while thou art enjoying repose : 
thou eatest sifted barlej% and men serve thee ; and it is only 
occasionally that thy master rides thee, and returns ; while I am 
continually employed in ploughing, and turning the mill. — The 
ass answered, When thou goest out to the field, and t"hey place 
the yoke upon thy neck, lie down, and do not rise again, even 
if they beat thee; or, if thou rise, lie down a second time; and 
when they take thee back, and place the beans before thee, eat 
them not, as though thou wert sick : abstain from eating and 
drinking a day or two days, or three; and so shalt thou find 
rest from trouble and labour. — Accordingly, when the driver 
came to the bull with his fodder, he ate scarcely any of it ; and 
on the morrow, when the driver came again to take him to 
plough, he found him apparently quite infirm: so the merchant 
said, Take the ass, and make him draw the plough in his stead 
all the day. The man did so; and when the ass returned at 
the close of the day, the bull thanked him for the favour he had 
conferred upon him by relieving him of his trouble on that 
day; but the ass returned him no answer, for he repented most 
gric\ously. On the next day, the ploughman came again, and 
took the ass, and ploughed with him till evening; and the ass 


returned with his neck flaj-ed by the yoke, and reduced to arv 
extreme state of weakness; and the bull looked upon him, and 
thanked and praised him. The ass exclaimed, I was living at 
ease, and nought but my meddling hath injured me! Then 
said he to the bull. Know that I am one who would give thee 
good advice : I heard our master say. If the bull rise not from 
his place, take him to the butcher, that he may kill him, and 
make a nat'^of his skin: — I am therefore in fear for thee, and 
so I have given thee advice ; and peace be on thee ! — When the 
bull heard these words of the ass, he thanked him, and said. 
To-morrow I will go with alacrity : — so he ate the whole of 
his fodder, and even licked the manger. — Their master, mean- 
while, was listening to their conversation. 

On the following morning, the merchant and his wife went 
to the bull's crib, and sat down there ; and the driver came, and 
took out the bull ; and when the bull saw his master, he shook 
his tail, and showed his alacrity by sounds and actions, bound- 
ing about in such a manner that the merchant laughed until 
he fell backwards. His wife, in surprise, asked him. At what 
dost thou laugh? He answered, At a thing that I have heard 
and seen; but I cannot reveal it; for if I did, I should die. 
She said, Thou must inform me of the cause of thy laugliter, 
even if thou die. — I cannot reveal it, said he : the fear of death 
prevents me. — Thou laughcdst only at me, she said; and she 
ceased not to urge and importune him until he was quite over- 
come and distracted. So he called together his children, and 
sent for the Kadi and witnesses, that he might make his will, 
and reveal the secret to her, and die : for he loved her excess- 
ively, since she was the daughter of his paternal uncle, and 
the mother of his children, and he had lived with her to the 
age of a hundred and twenty years. Having assembled her 
family and his neighbours, he related to them his story, and 
told them that as soon as he revealed his secret he must die ; 
upon which every one present said to her, We conjure thee 
by Allah that thou give up this affair, and let not thy husband, 
and the father of thy children, die. But she said, I will not 
desist until he tell me, though he die for it. So they ceased 
to solicit her; and the merchant left them, and went to the 

''Nat': a large round piece of leather which, spread upon the ground, 
serves as a table for dinner, etc. 



stable to perform the ablution, and then to return, and tell them 
the secret, and die. 

Now he had a cock, with fifty hens under him, and he had 
also a dog; and he heard the dog call to the cock, and reproach 
him, saying, Art thou happ}^ when our master is going to die? 
The cock asked, How so? — and the dog related to him the story; 
upon which the cock exclaimed. By Allah ! our master has little 
sense: / have fifty wives; and I please this, and provoke that; 
while he ^as but one one wife, and cannot manage this affair with 
her: why does he not take some twigs of the mulberry-tree, and 
enter her chamber, and beat her until she dies or repents? She 
would never, after that, ask him • question respecting anything. 
• — And when the merchant heard the words of the cock, as he 
addressed the dog, he recovered his reason, and made up his 
mind to beat her. — Now, said the Wezir to his daughter Shah- 
razad, perhaps I may do to thee as the merchant did to his 
wife. She asked. And what did he? He answered, He entered 
her chamber after he had cut off some twigs of the mulberry- 
tree, and hidden them there ; and then said to her. Come into the 
chamber, that I may tell thee the secret while no one sees me, 
and then die : — and when she had entered, he locked the chamber- 
door upon her, and beat her imtil she became almost senseless 
and cried out, I repent : — and she kissed his hands and his feet, 
and repented, and went out with him ; and all the company, and 
her own family, rejoiced ; and they lived together in the haj)piest 
manner until death. 

When the Wezir's daughter heard the words of her father, 
she said to him, It must be as I have requested. So he arrayed 
her, and went to the King Shahriyar. Now she had given direc- 
tions to her j^ounger sister saying to her. When I have gone 
to the King, I will send to request thee to come; and when 
thou comest to me, and seest a convenient time, do thou say to 
me, O my sister, relate to me some strange story to beguile our 
waking hour: — and I will relate to thee a story that shall, if 
it be the will of God, be the means of procuring delivoranro 

Her father, the Wezir, then took her to the King, who, when 
he saw him, was rejoiced, and said. Hast thou brought me what 
I desired? He answered Yes. When the King, therefore, in- 
troduced himself to her, she wept; and he said to her. What 
aileth thee? She answered, O King, I have a young sister, and 


I wish to take leave of her. So the King sent to her ; and she 
came to her sister, and embraced her, and sat near the foot 
of the bed ; and after she had waited for a proper opportunity, 
she said, By Allah ! O my sister, relate to us a story to beguile 
the waking hour of our night. Most willingly, answered Shah- 
razad, if this virtuous King permit me. And the King, hearing 
these words, and being restless, was pleased with the idea of lis- 
tening to the story; and thus, on the first night of the thousand 
and one, Shahrazad commenced her recitation*. 




[Nights i—3'\ 
The Story of the Merchant and the Jinni 

IT has been related to me, O happy King, said Shahrazad, 
that there was a certain merchant who had great wealth, 
and traded extensively with surrounding countries ; and 
one day he mounted his horse, and journeyed to a neigh- 
bouring country to collect what was due to him, and, the heat 
oppressing him, he sat under a tree, in a garden, and put 
his hand into his saddle-bag, and ate a morsel of bread and 
a date which were among his provisions. Having eaten the 
date, he threw aside the stone, and immediately there ap- 
peared before him an 'Efrit, of enormous height, who, hold- 
ing a drawn sword in his hand, approached him, and said, 
Rise, that I may kill thee, as thou hast killed my son. The 
merchant asked him. How have I killed thy son? He an- 
swered, When thou atest the date, and threwest aside the 
stone, it struck my son upon the chest, and, as fate had 
decreed against him, he instantly died. 

The merchant, on hearing these words, exclaimed, Verily 
to God we belong, and verily to Him we must return ! There 
is no strength nor power but in God, the High, the Great ! 
If I killed him, I did it not intentionally, but without know- 
ing it; and I trust in thee that thou wilt pardon me. — The 
Jinni answered, Thy death is indispensable, as thou hast 
killed my son: — and so saying, he dragged him, and threw 
him on the ground, and raised his arm to strike him with the 
sword. The merchant, upon this, wept bitterly, and said to 



the Jinni, I commit my affair unto God, for no one can 
avoid what He hath decreed: — and he continued his lamen- 
tation, repeating the following verses : — 

Time consists of two days; this, bright; and that, gloomy; and life, 

of two moieties ; this, safe ; and that, fearful. 
Say to him who hath taunted us on account of misfortunes. Doth 

fortune oppose any but the eminent? 
Dost thou observe that corpses float upon the sea, while the 

precious pearls remain in its furthest depths ? 
When the hands of time play with us, misfortune is imparted to us 

by its protracted kiss. 
In the heaven are stars that cannot be numbered ; but none is 

eclipsed save the sun and the moon. 
How many green and dry trees are on the earth ; but none is 

assailed with stones save that which beareth fruit 1 
Thou thoughtest well of the days when they went well with thee, 

and fearedst not the evil that destiny was bringing. 

• — When he had finished reciting these verses, the Jinni said 
to him, Spare thy words, for thy death is unavoidable. 

Then said the merchant. Know, O 'Efrit, that I have debts 
to pay, and I have much property, and children, and a wife, 
and I have pledges also in my possession: let me, therefore, 
go back to my house, and give to every one his due, and 
then I will return to thee: I bind myself by a vow and 
covenant that I will return to thee, and thou shalt do what 
thou wilt; and God is witness of what I say. — Upon this, the 
Jinni accepted his covenant, and liberated him; granting hira 
a respite until the expiration of the year. 

The merchant, therefore, returned to his town, accom- 
plished all that was upon his mind to do, paid every one 
what he owed him, and informed his wife and children of 
the event which had befallen him ; upon hearing which, they 
and all his family and women wept. He appointed a 
guardian over his children, and remained with his family 
until the end of the year; when he took his grave-clothes 
under his arm, bade farewell to his household and neigh- 
bours, and all his relations, and went forth, in spite of 
himself; his family raising cries of lamentation, and 

He proceeded until he arrived at the garden before men- 
tioned; and it was the first day of the new year; and as he 


sat, weeping for the calamity which he expected soon to 
befall him, a sheykh, advanced in years, approached him, 
leading a gazelle with a chain attached to its neck. This 
sheykh saluted the merchant, wishing him a long life, and 
said to him, What is the reason of thy sitting alone in this 
place, seeing that it is a resort of the Jinn? The merchant 
therefore informed him of what had befallen him with the 
'Efrit, and of the cause of his sitting there; at which the 
sheykh, the owner of the gazelle, was astonished, and said, 
By Allah, O my brother, thy faithfulness is great, and thy 
story is wonderful ! if it were engraved upon the intellect, i 
it would be a lesson to him who would be admonished! — ^ 
And he sat down by his side, and said. By Allah, O my 
brother, I will not quit this place until I see what will happen 
unto thee with this 'Efrit. So he sat down, and conversed 
with him. And the merchant became almost senseless ; fear 
entered him, and terror, and violent grief, and excessive 
anxiety. And as the owner of the gazelle sat by his side, 
lo, a second sheykh approached them, with two black hounds, 
and inquired of them, after saluting them, the reason of 
their sitting in that place, seeing that it was a resort of 
the Jann: and they told him the story from beginning to 
end. And he had hardly sat down when there approached 
them a third sheykh, with a dapple mule ; and he asked them 
the same question, which was answered in the same manner. 
Immediately after, the dust was agitated, and became an 
enormous revolving pillar, approaching them from the midst 
of the desert; and this dust subsided, and behold, the Jinni, 
with a drawn sword in his hand; his eyes casting forth 
sparks of fire. He came to them, and dragged from them 
the merchant, and said to him. Rise, that I may kill thee, as 
thou killedst my son, the vital spirit of my heart. And the 
merchant wailed and wept ; and the three sheykhs also mani- 
fested their sorrow by weeping and crj'ing aloud and wail- 
ing: but the first sheykh, who was the owner of the gazelle, 
recovering his self-possession, kissed the hand of the 'Efrit, 
and said to him, O thou Jinni, and crown of the kings of 
the Jann, if I relate to thee the story of myself and this 
gazelle, and thou find it to be wonderful, and more so than 
the adventure of this merchant, wilt thou give up to me a 


third of thy claim to his blood? He answered. Yes, O 
sheykh ; if thou relate to me the story, and I find it to be 
as thou hast said, I will give up to thee a third of my claim 
to his blood. 

The Story of the First Sheykh and the Gazelle 

Then said the sheykh, Know, O 'Efrit, that this gazelle 
is the daughter of my paternal uncle, and she is of my flesh 
and my blood. I took her as my wife when she was young, 
and lived with her about thirty years ; but I was not blessed 
with a child by her ; so I took to me a concubine slave, and 
by her I was blessed with a male child, like the rising full 
moon, with beautiful eyes, and delicately-shaped eyebrows, 
and perfectly-formed limbs ; and he grew up by little and 
little until he attained the age of fifteen years. At this 
period, I unexpectedly had occasion to journey to a certain 
city, and went thither with a great stock of merchandise. 

Now my cousin, this gazelle, had studied enchantment 
and divination from her early years ; and during my absence, 
she transformed the youth above mentioned into a calf; and 
his mother, into a cow; and committed them to the care of 
the herdsman : and when I returned, after a long time, from 
my journey, I asked after my son and his mother, and she 
said, Thy slave is dead, and they son hath fled, and I know 
not whither he is gone. After hearing this, I remained for 
the space of a year with mourning heart and weeping eye, 
until the Festival of the Sacrifice ;^ when I sent to the herds- 
man, and ordered him to choose for me a fat cow; and he 
brought me one, and it was my concubine, whom this 
gazelle had enchanted. I tucked up my skirts and sleeves, 
and took the knife in my hand, and prepared myself to 
slaughter her ; upon which she moaned and cried so violently 
that I left her, and ordered the herdsman to kill and skin 
her: and he did so, but found in her neither fat nor flesh, 
nor anything but skin and bone ; and I repented of slaughter- 
ing her, when repentance was of no avail. I therefore 
gave her to the herdsman, and said to him. Bring me a fat 

' The Great Festival, comnicncinK on the loth of Dhu-l-IIijjeh. when the 
pilgrims, halting on their return from mount 'Arafat to Mckkeh, in the 
valley of Mine, perform their sacrifice. 


calf: and he brought me my son, who was transformed into 
a calf. And when the calf saw me, he broke his rope, and 
came to me, and fawned upon me, and wailed and cried, 
so that I was moved with pity for him; and I said to the 
herdsman. Bring me a cow, and let this — 

Here Shahrazad perceived the light of morning, and dis- 
continued the recitation with which she had been allowed 
thus far to proceed. Her sister said to her, How excellent 
is thy story ! and how pretty ! and how pleasant ! and how 
sweet ! — but she answered, What is this in comparison with 
that which I will relate to thee in the next night, if I live, 
and the King spare me ! And the King said. By Allah, 
I will not kill her until I hear the remainder of her story. 
Thus they pleasantly passed the night until the morning, 
when the King went forth to his hall of judgment, and the 
Wezir went thither with the grave-clothes under his arm : 
and the King gave judgment, and invested and displaced, 
until the close of the day, without informing the Wezir of 
that which had happened; and the minister was greatly as- 
tonished. The court was then dissolved; and the King 
returned to the privacy of his palace. 

[On the second and each succeeding night, Shahrazad 
continued so to interest King Shahriyar by her stories as to 
induce him to defer putting her to death, in expectation that 
her fund of amusing tales would soon be exhausted ; and as 
this is expressed in the original work in nearly the same 
words at the close of every night, such repetitions will in the 
present translation be omitted.] 

When the sheykh, continued Shahrazad, observed the tears 
of the calf, his heart sympathized with him, and he said to 
the herdsman. Let this calf remain with the cattle. — Mean- 
while, the Jinni wondered at this strange story; and the 
owner of the gazelle thus proceeded. 

O lord of the kings of the Jann, while this happcnetl, 
my cousin, this gazelle, looked on, and said, Slaughter this 
calf; for he is fat: but I could not do it; so I ordered the 
herdsman to take him back ; and he took him and went 
away. And as I was sitting, on the following day, he came 
to me, and said, O my master, I have to tell thee something 
that thou wilt be rejoiced to hear; and a reward is due to 


me for bringing good news. I answered, Well: — and he 
said, O merchant, I have a daughter who learned enchant- 
ment in her youth from an old woman in our family; and 
yesterday, when thou gavest me the calf, I took him to her, 
and she looked at him, and covered her face, and wept, and 
then laughed, and said, O my father, hath my condition 
become so degraded in thy opinion that thou bringest before 
me strange men? — Where, said I, are any strange men? and 
wherefore didst thou weep and laugh? She answered, This 
calf that is with thee is the son of our master, the merchant, 
and the wife of our master hath enchanted both him and 
his mother ; and this was the reason of my laughter ; but 
as to the reason of my weeping, it was on account of his 
mother, because his father had slaughtered her. — And I was 
excessively astonished at this ; and scarcely was I certain 
that the light of morning had appeared when I hastened to 
inform thee. 

When I heard, O Jinni, the words of the herdsmen, I 
went forth with him, intoxicated without wine, fsom the 
excessive joy and happiness that I received, and arrived at 
his house, where his daughter welcomed me, and kissed my 
hand ; and the calf came to me, and fawned upon me. And 
I said to the herdsman's daughter. Is that true which thou 
hast said respecting this calf? She answered. Yes, O my 
master; he is verily thy son, and the vital spirit of thy 
heart. — O maiden, said I, if thou wilt restore him, all the 
cattle and other property of mine that thy father hath under 
his care shall be thine. Upon this, she smiled, and said, 

my master, I have no desire for the property unless on 
two conditions : the first is, that thou shalt marry me to 
him ; and the second, that I shall enchant her who enchanted 
him, and so restrain her ; otherwise. I shall not be secure 
from her artifice. On hearing, O Jinni, these her words, 

1 said, And thou shalt have all the property that is under 
the care of thy father besides ; and as to my cousin, even 
her blood shall be lawful to thee. So, when she heard this, 
she took a cup, and filled it with water, and repeated a 
spell over it, and sprinkled with it the calf, saying to him, 
If God created thee a calf, remain in this form, and be not 
changed; but if thou be enchanted, return to thy original 


form, by permission of God, whose name be exalted ! — 
upon which he shook, and became a man ; and I threw 
myself upon him, and said, I conjure thee by Allah that 
thou relate to me all that my cousin did to thee and to thy 
mother. So he related to me all that had happened to them 
both; and I said to him, O my son, God hath given thee one 
to liberate thee, and to avenge thee : — and I married to 
him, O Jinni, the herdsman's daughter; after which, she 
transformed my cousin into this gazelle. And as I happened 
to pass this way, I saw this merchant, and asked him what 
had happened to him ; and when he had informed me. I sat 
down to see the result. — This is my story. The Jinni said, 
This is a wonderful tale; and I give up to thee a third of 
my claim to his blood. 

The second sheykh, the owner of the two hounds, then 
advanced, and said to the Jinni, If I relate to thee the story 
of myself and these hounds, and thou find it to be in like 
manner wonderful, wilt thou remit to me, also, a third of 
thy claim to the blood of this merchant? The Jinni 
answered. Yes. 

The Story of the Second Sheykh 
AND the Two Black Hounds 

Then said the sheykh. Know, O lord of the kings of the 
Jann, that these two hounds are my brothers. My father 
died, and left to us three thousand pieces of gold;" and 
I opened a shop to sell and buy. But one of my brothers 
made a journey, with a stock of merchandise, ■ and was 
absent from us for the space of a year with the caravans; 
after which, he returned destitute. I said to him, Did I not 
advise thee to abstain from travelling? But he wept, and 
said, my brother, God, to whom be ascribed all might 
and glory, decreed this event; and there is no longer any 
profit in these words : I have nothing left. So I took him up 
into the shop, and then went with him to the bath, and 
clad him in a costly suit of my own clothing; after which, 
we sat down together to eat; and I said to him, O my 
brother, I will calculate the gain of my shop during the year, 

' Dinar, about half-a-guinea. 


and divide it, exclusive of the principal, between me and 
thee. Accordingly, I made the calculations, and found my 
gain to amount to two thousand pieces of gold ; and I 
praised God, to whom be ascribed all might and glory, and 
rejoiced exceedingly, and divided the gain in two equal 
parts between myself and him. — My other brother then set 
forth on a journey; and after a year, returned in the like 
condition ; and I did unto him as I had done to the former. 

After this, when we had lived together for some time, 
my brothers again wished to travel, and were desirous that 
I should accompany them; but I would not. What, said I, 
have ye gained in your travels, that I should expect to gain ? 
They importuned me; but I would not comply with their 
request; and we remained selling and buying in our shops 
a whole year. Still, however, they persevered in proposing 
that we should travel, and I still refused, until after the 
lapse of six entire years, when at last I consented, and said 
to them, O my brothers, let us calculate what property we 
possess. We did so, and found it to be six thousand pieces 
of gold: and I then said to them. We will bury half of it in 
the earth, that it may be of service to us if any misfortune 
befall us, in which case each of us shall take a thousand 
pieces, with which to traffic. Excellent is thy advice, said 
they. So I took the money and divided it into two equal 
portions, and buried three thousand pieces of gold ; and of 
the other half, I gave to each of them a thousand pieces. 
We then prepared merchandise, and hired a ship, and em- 
barked our goods, and proceeded on our voyage for the 
space of a whole month, at the expiration of which we 
arrived at a city, where we sold our merchandise ; and for 
every piece of gold we gained ten. 

And when we were about to set sail again, we found, on 
the shore of the sea, a maiden clad in tattered garments, 
who kissed my hand, and said to me. O my master, art thou 
possessed of charity and kindness? If so, I will requite 
tliee for them. I answered, Yes, I have those qualities, 
though thou requite me not. Then said she, O my master, 
accept me as thy wife, and take me to thy country; for I 
give myself to thee: act kindly towards me; for I am one 
who requires to be treated with kindness and charity, and 


who will requite thee for so doing ; and let not my present 
condition at all deceive thee. When I heard these words, 
my heart was moved with tenderness towards her, in order 
to the accomplishment of a purpose of God, to whom be 
ascribed all might and glory ; and I took her, and clothed 
her, and furnished for her a place in the ship in a handsome 
manner, and regarded her with kind and respectful attention. 
We then set sail ; and I became most cordially attached 
to my wife, so that, on her account, I neglected the society 
of my brothers, who, in consequence, became jealous of me, 
and likewise envied me my wealth, and the abundance of 
my merchandise; casting the eyes of covetousness upon the 
whole of the property. They therefore consulted together 
to kill me, and take my wealth ; saying, Let us kill our 
brother, and all the property shall be ours : — and the devil 
made these actions to seem fair in their eyes; so they came 
to me while I was sleeping by the side of my wife, and took 
both of us up, and threw us into the sea. But as soon as 
my wife awoke, she shook herself, and became transformed ^ 
into a Jinniy^^ She immediately bore me away, and placed ^ 
me upon an island, and, for a while, disappeared. In the 
morning, however, she returned, and said to me, I am thy 
wife, who carried thee, and rescued thee from death, by 
permission of God, whose name be exalted. Know that I 
am a Jinniyeh : I saw thee, and my heart loved thee for 
the sake of God ; for I am a believer in God and his 
Apostle, God bless and save him ! I came to thee in the 
condition in which thou sawest me, and thou didst .marry 
me; and see, I have rescued thee from drowning. But I 
am incensed against thy brothers, and I must kill them. — 
When I heard her tale, I was astonished, and thanked her 
for what she had done ; — But, said I, as to the destruction 
of my brothers, it is not what I desire. I then related to 
her all that had happened between myself and them from 
first to last ; and when she had heard it, she said, I will, this 
next night, fly to them, and sink their ship, and destroy 
them. But I said, I conjure thee by Allah that thou do it 
not; for the author of the proverb saith, O thou benefactor , -^ 
of him who hath done evil, the action that he hath done is -S. 
sufficient for him : — besides, they are at all events my ' 


brothers. She still, however, said, They must be killed; — 
and I continued to propitiate her towards them: and at last 
she lifted me up, and soared through the air, and placed me 
on the roof of my house. 

Having opened the doors, I dug up what I had hidden 
in the earth ; and after I had saluted my neighbours, and 
bought merchandise, I opened my shop. And in the follow- 
ing night, when I entered my house, I found these two 
dogs tied up in it; and as soon as they saw me, they came 
to me, and wept, and clung to me; but I knew not what had 
happened until immediately my wife appeared before me, 
and said, These are thy brothers. And who, said I, hath 
done this unto them? She answered, I sent to my sister, 
and she did it; and they shall not be restored until after the 
lapse of ten years. And I was now on my way to her, that 
she might restore them, as they have been in this state ten 
years, when I saw this man, and, being informed of what had 
befallen him, I determined not to quit the place until I should 
have seen what would happen between thee and him, — This 
is my story. — Verily, said the Jinni, it is a wonderful tale; 
and I give up to thee a third of the claim that I had to his 
blood on account of his offence. 

Upon this, the third sheykh, the owner of the mule, said 
to the Jinni, As to me, break not my heart if I relate to thee 
nothing more than this : — 

The Story of the Third Sheykh and the !Mule 

The mule that thou seest was my wife: she became 
enamoured of a black slave; and when I discovered her 
with him, she took a mug of water, and, having uttered a 
spell over it, sprinkled me, and transformed me into a dog. 
In this state, I ran to the shop of a butcher, whose daughter 
saw me, and being skilled in enchantment, restored me to 
my original form, and instructed me to enchant my wife in 
the manner thou beholdest. — And now I hope that thou wilt 
remit to me also a third of the merchant's offence. Divinely 
was he gifted who said. 

Sow good, even on an unworthy soil ; for it will not be lost 
wherever it is sown. 


When the sheykh had thus finished his story, the Jinni 
shook with delight, and remitted the remaining third of his 
claim to the merchant's blood. The merchant then approached 
the sheykhs, and thanked them, and they congratulated him 
on his safety; and each went his way. 

But this, said Shahrazad, is not more wonderful than the 
story of the fisherman. The King asked her, And what is 
the story of the fisherman? And she related it as follows: — 

[NigJUs J— p] 
The Story of the Fisherman 

THERE was a certain fisherman, advanced in age, who 
had a wife and three children ; and though he was in 
indigent circumstances, it was his custom to cast his 
net, every day, no more than four times. One day he went 
forth at the hour of noon to the shore of the sea, and put 
down his basket, and cast his net, and waited until it was 
motionless in the water, when he drew together its strings, 
and found it to be heavy: he pulled, but could not draw it 
up : so he took the end of the cord, and knocked a stake into 
the shore, and tied the cord to it. He then stripped him- 
self, and dived round the net, and continued to pull until 
he drew it out: whereupon he rejoiced, and put on his 
clothes; but when he came to examine the net, he found in 
it the carcass of an ass. At the sight of this he mourned, and 
exclaimed. There is no strength nor power but in God, the 
High, the Great ! This is a strange piece of fortune ! — 
And he repeated the following verse : — 

O thou who occupiest thyself in the darkness of night, and in peril I 
Spare thy trouble; for the support of Providence is not obtained 
by toil ! 

He then disencumbered his net of the dead ass. and wrung 
it out; after which he spread it, and descended into the 
sea, and — exclaiming. In the name of God ! — cast it again, and 
waited till it had sunk and was still, when he pulled it, and 
found it more heavy and more difficult to raise than on 
the former occasion. He therefore concluded that it was 
full of fish : so he tied it, and stripped, and plunged and dived, 
and pulled until he raised it, and drew it upon the shore ; when 
he found in it only a large jar, full of sand and mud; on 



'he 'Efrit 

seeing which, he was troubled in his heart, and repeated\«J 
following words of the poet: — 

angry fate, forbear ! or, if thou wilt not forbear, relent ! 
Neither favour from fortune do I gain, nor profit from the work of 

my hands. 

1 came forth to seek my sustenance, but have found it to be 

How many of the ignorant are in splendor ! and how many of 
the wise, in obscurity ! 

So saying, he threw aside the jar, and wrung out and 
cleansed his net; and, begging the forgiveness of God for his 
impatience, returned to the sea the third time, and threw 
the net, and waited till it had sunk and was motionless: he 
then drew it out, and found in it a quantity of broken jars 
and pots. 

Upon this, he raised his head towards heaven, and said, 
O God, Thou knowest that I cast not my net more than four 
times ; and I have now cast it three times ! Then — exclaim- 
ing, In the name of God ! — he cast the net again into the 
sea, and waited till it was still ; when he attempted to draw 
it up, but could not, for it clung to the bottom. And he ex- 
claimed. There is no strength nor power but in God ! — and 
he stripped himself again, and dived round the net, and 
pulled until he raised it upon the shore; when he opened it, 
and found in it a bottle of brass, filled with something, and 
having its mouth closed with a stopper of lead, bearing the 
impression of the seal of our lord Suleyman.^ At the sight 
of this, the fisherman was rejoiced, and said. This I will 
sell in the copper-market ; for it is worth ten pieces of gold. 
He then shook it, and found it to be heavy, and said, I 

^ No man ever obtained such absolute power over the Jinn as Sulcyman 
Ibn-Da'ud (Solomon, the .Son of David). This he did by virtue of a most 
wonderful talisman, which is said to have come down to him from heaven. 
It was a seal-ring, upon which was engraved " the most great name " of 
God; and partly composed of brass, and partly of iron. With the brass lie 
stamped his written commands to the pood Jinn; with the iron [which they 
greatly dread], those to the evil Jinn, or Devils Over both orders he 
had unlimited power; as well as over tne birds and the winds, and, as is 
generally said, the wild beasts. His Wezir, Asaf the son of Barkhiya, is 
also said to have been acquainted with " the most great name," by utter- 
ing which the greatest miracles may be performed; even that of raising the 
dead. By virtue of this name, engraved on his ring, Sulcyman compelled 
the Jinn to assist in building the Temple of Jerusalem, and in various other 
works.' Many of the evil Jinn he converted to the true faith; and many 
others of this class, who remained obstinate in infidelity, he confined in 


^pen it, and see what is in it, and store it in my bag; 
ind then I will sell the bottle in the copper-market. So he 
took out a knife, and picked at the lead until he extracted it 
from the bottle. He then laid the bottle on the ground, and 
shook it, that its contents might pour out; but there came 
forth from it nothing but smoke, which ascended towards 
the sky, and spread over the face of the earth; at which 
he wondered excessively. And after a little while, the 
smoke collected together, and was condensed, and then be- 
came agitated and was converted into an 'Efrit, whose 
head was in the clouds, while his feet rested upon the ground: 
his head was like a dome : his hands were like winnowing 
forks ; and his legs, like masts : his mouth resembled a cavern: 
his teeth were like stones; his nostrils, like trumpets; and 
his eyes, like lamps ; and he had dishevelled and dust-coloured 

When the fisherman beheld this 'Efrit, the muscles of his 
sides quivered, his teeth were locked together, his spittle 
dried up, and he saw not his way. The 'Efrit, as soon as 
he perceived him. exclaimed. There is no deity but God; 
Suleyman is the Prophet of God. O Prophet of God, slay 
me not; for I will never again oppose thee in word, or rebel 
against thee in deed ! — O Marid, said the fisherman, dost thou 
say, Suleyman is the Prophet of God? Suleyman hath been 
dead a thousand and eight hundred years ; and we are now in 
the end of time. What is thy history, and what is thy tale, 
and what was the cause of thy entering this bottle? WTien 
the Marid heard these words of the fisherman, he said, There 
is no deity but God! Receive news, O fisherman! — Of what, 
said the fisherman, dost thou give me news? He answered. 
Of thy being instantly put to a most cruel death. The fisher- 
man exclaimed, Thou deservest, for this news, O master of 
the 'Efrits, the withdrawal of protection from thee, O thou 
remote!* Wherefore wouldst thou kill me? and what re- 
quires thy killing me, when I have liberated thee from the 
bottle, and rescued thee from the bottom of the sea, and 
brought thee up upon the dry land? — The 'Efrit answered, 
Choose what kind of death thou wilt die, and in what manner 
thou i:halt be killed. — What is my offence, said the fisherman, 

* [Implying a malediction, but excepting bystanders.) 


that this should be my recompense from thee? The 'Efrit 
replied, Hear my story^ O fisherman. — Tell it then, said the 
fisherman, and be short in thy words; for my soul hath sunk 
down to my feet. 

Know then, said he, that I am one of the heretical Jinn: 
I rebelled against Suleyman the son of Da'ud; I and Sakhr 
the Jinni ; and he sent to me his Wezir, Asaf the son of 
Barkhiya, who came upon me forcibly, and took me to him 
in uionds, and placed me before him : and when Suleyman saw 
me, he offered up a prayer for protection against mc, and 
exhorted me to embrace the faith, and to submit to his 
authority; but I refused; upon which he called for this bottle, 
and confined me in it, and closed it upon me with the leaden 
stopper, which he stamped with the Most Great Name : he 
then gave orders to the Jinn, who carried me away, and 
threw me into the midst of the sea. There I remained a 
hundred years ; and I said in my heart. Whosoever shall liber- 
ate me, I shall enrich him for ever : — but the hundred years 
passed over me, and no one liberated me : and I entered upon 
another hundred years ; and I said. Whosoever shall liber- 
ate me, I will open to him the treasures of the earth ; — but 
no one did so : and four hundred years more passed over me, 
and I said, Whosoever shall liberate me, I will perform for 
him three wants: — but still no one liberated me. I then 
fell into a violent rage, and said within myself. Whosoever 
shall liberate me now, I will kill him ; and only suffer him 
to choose in what manner he will die. And lo, now thou hast 
liberated me, and I have given thee thy choice of the manner 
in which thou wilt die. 

When the fisherman had heard the story of the 'Efrit, he 
exclaimed, O Allah ! that I should not have liberated thee but 
in such a time as this ! Then said he to the 'Efrit, Pardon 
me, and kill me not, and so may God pardon thee; and destroy 
me not, lest God give power over thee to one who will destroy 
thee. The Marid answered, I must positively kill thee ; there- 
fore choose by what manner of death thou wilt die. The 
fisherman then felt assured of his death ; but he again im- 
plored the 'Efrit, saying. Pardon me by way of gratitude 
for my liberating thee. — Why, answered the 'Efrit, I am 
not going to kill thee but for that very reason, because thou 


hast liberated me.— O Sheykh of the 'Efrits, said the fisher- 
man, do I act kindly towards thee, and dost thou recompense 
me with baseness? But the proverb lieth not that saith, — 

We did good to them, and they returned us the contrary; and such, 

by my life, is the conduct of the wicked. 
Thus he who acteth kindly to the undeserving is recompensed in 

the same manner as the aider of Umm-'Amir.' 

The 'Efrit, when he heard these words, answered by say- 
ing, Covet not life, for thy death is unavoidable. Then said 
the fisherman within himself. This is a Jinni, and I am a man; 
and God hath given me sound reason; therefore, I will now 
plot his destruction with my art and reason, like as he hath 
plotted with his cunning and perfidy. So he said to the 
'Efrit, Hast thou determined to kill me? He answered, Yes. 
Then said he, By the Most Great Name engraved upon the 
seal of Suleyman, I will ask thee one question ; and wilt thou 
answer it to me truly ? On hearing the mention of the Most 
Great Name, the 'Efrit was agitated, and trembled, and re- 
plied. Yes ; ask, and be brief. The fisherman then said, 
How wast thou in this bottle? It will not contain thy hand 
or thy foot ; how then can it contain thy whole body ? — Dost 
thou not believe that I was in it? said the 'Efrit. The fisher- 
man answered, I will never believe thee until I see thee in 
it. Upon this, the 'Efrit shook, and became converted into 
smoke, which rose to the sky and then became condensed, 
and entered the bottle by little and little, until it was all 
enclosed; when the fislierman hastily snatched the sealed leaden 
stopper, and, having replaced it in the mouth of the bottle, 
called out to the 'Efrit, and said. Choose in what manner 
of death thou wilt die. I will assuredly throw thee here into 
the sea, and build me a house on this spot ; and whosoever 
shall come here, I will prevent his fishing in this place, and 
will say to him, Here is an 'Efrit, who to any person that 
liberates him, will propose various kinds of death, and then 
give him his choice of one of them. On hearing these words 
of the fisherman, the 'Efrit endeavoured to escape ; but could 
not, finding himself restrained by the impression of the seal 
of Suleyman, and thus imprisoned by the fisherman as the 
vilest and filthiest and least of 'Efrits. The fisherman then 

* The hyena. 


took the bottle to the brink of the sea. The 'Efrit exclaimed, 
Xay ! nay ! — to which the fisherman answered, Yea, without 
fail ! yea, without fail ! The Marid then addressing him with 
a soft voice and humble manner, said. What dost thou intend 
to do with me, O fisherman ? He answered, I will throw thee 
into the sea ; and if thou hast been there a thousand and 
eight hundred years, I will make thee to remain there until 
the hour of judgment. Did I not say to thee. Spare me, and 
so may God spare thee ; and destroy me not, lest God destroy 
thee? But thou didst reject my petition, and wouldst noth- 
ing but treachery; therefore God hath caused thee to fall 
into my hand, and I have betrayed thee. — Open to me, said 
the 'Efrit, that I may confer benefits upon thee. The 
fisherman replied, Thou liest, thou accursed ! I and thou are 
like the Wezir of King Yunan and the sage Duban. — What, 
said the 'Efrit, was the case of the Wezir Yunan and the 
sage Duban, and what is their story? The fisherman an- 
swered as follows : — 

The Story of King Yunan and the 
Sage Duban 

Know, O 'Efrit, that there was, in former times, in the 
country of the Persians, a monarch who was called King 
Yunan, possessing great treasures and numerous forces, val- 
iant, and having troops of every description ; but he was 
afflicted with leprosy, which the physicians and sages had 
failed to remove ; neither their potions, nor powders, nor 
ointments were of any benefit to him ; and none of the phy- 
sicians was able to cure him. At length there arrived at the 
city of this king a great sage, stricken in years, who was 
called the sage Duban : he was acquainted with ancient Greek, 
Persian, modern Greek, Arabic, and Syriac books, and with 
medicine and astrology, both with respect to their scientific 
principles and the rules of their practical applications for 
good and evil; as well as the properties of plants, dried 
and fresh; the injurious and the useful: he was versed in 
the wisdom of the philosophers, and embraced a knowledge 
of all the medical and other sciences. 

After this sage had arrived in the city, and remained in 



it a few days, he heard of the case of the King, of the leprosy 
with which God had afflicted him, and that the physicians 
and men of science had failed to cure him. In consequence 
of this information, he passed the next night in deep study; 
and when the morning came, and diffused its light, and 
the sun saluted the Ornament of the Good,* he attired him- 
self in the richest of his apparel, and presented himself 
before the King. Having kissed the ground before him, 
and offered up a prayer for the continuance of his power' 
and happiness, and greeted him in the best manner he wa:. 
able, he informed him who he was, and said, O King, I 
have heard of the disease which hath attacked thy person, 
and that many of the physicians are unacquainted with the 
means of removing it; and I will cure thee without giving 
thee to drink any potion, or anointing thee with ointment. 
When King Yuman heard his words, he wondered, and said 
to him, How wilt thou do this? By Allah, if thou cure me, 
I will enrich thee and thy children's children, and I will 
heap favours upon thee, and whatever thou shalt desire shall 
be thine, and thou shalt be my companion and my friend. 
— He then bestowed upon him a robe of honour, and other 
presents, and said to him. Wilt thou cure me of this disease 
without potion or ointment? He answered. Yes; I will 
cure thee without any discomfort to thy person. And the 
King was extremely astonished, and said, O Sage, at what 
time, and on what day, shall that which thou hast proposed 
to me be done? Hasten it, O my Son. — He answered, I 
hear and obey. 

He then went out from the presence of the King, and 
hired a house, in which he deposited his books, and medi- 
cines, and drugs. Having done this, he selected certain 
of his medicines and drugs, and made a goff-stick, with ; 
hollow handle, into which he introduced them; after which 
he made a ball for it, skilfully adapted; and on the follow- 
ing day, after he had finished these, he went again to tlu 
King, and kissed the ground before him, and directed him 
to repair to the horse-course, and to play with the ball and 
goff-stick. The King, attended by his Emirs and Chamber- 

* The Prophet Mohammad, who said " the sun never riseth until it hath 
saluted me. 


lains and Wezirs, went thither, and, as soon as he arrived 
there, the sage Duban presented himself before him, and 
handed to him the goff-stick, saying, Take this goff-stick, 
and grasp it thus, and ride along the horse-course, and strike 
the ball with it with all thy force, until the palm of thy hand 
and thy whole body become moist with perspiration, when 
the medicine will penetrate into thy hand, and pervade thy 
whole body; and when thou hast done this, and the medi- 
cine remains in thee, return to thy palace, and enter the 
1th, and wash thyself, and sleep; then shalt thou find thy- 
self cured : and peace be on thee. So King Yunan took 
the goff-stick from the sage, and grasped it in his hand, and 
mounted his horse; and the ball was thrown before him, 
and he urged his horse after it until he overtook it, when he 
struck it with all his force; and when he had continued this 
exercise as long as was necessary, and bathed and slept, he 
looked upon his skin, and not a vestige of the leprosy 
remained : it was clear as white silver. Upon this he 
rejoiced exceedingly; his heart was dilated, and he was full 
of happiness. 

On the following morning he entered the council-chamber, 
and sat upon his throne ; and the Chamberlains and great 
officers of his court came before him. The sage Duban also 
presented himself; and when the King saw him, he rose to 
him in haste, and seated him by his side. Services of food 
were then spread before them, and the sage ate with the 
King, and remained as his guest all the day; and when the 
night approached, the King gave him two thousand pieces 
of gold, besides dresses of honour and other presents, and 
mounted him on his own horse, and so the sage returned to 
his house. And the King was astonished at his skill ; say- 
ing, This man hath cured me by an external process, without 
linting me with ointment: by Allah, this is consummate 
\nce; and it is incumbent on me to bestow favours and 
nours upon him, and to make him my companion and 
■ ^miliar friend as long as I Hve. He passed the night happy 
and joyful on account of his recovery, and when he arose, 
he went forth again, and sat upon his throne ; the officers of 
his court standing before him, and the Emirs and Wezirs 
sitting on his right hand and on his left; and he called for 


the sage Duban, who came, and kissed the ground before 
him ; and the king rose, and seated him by his side, and 
ate with him, and greeted him with compliments: he be- 
stowed upon him again a robe of honour and other presents, 
and after conversing with him till the approach of night, 
gave orders that five other robes of honour should be given 
to him, and a thousand pieces of gold; and the sage departed, 
and returned to his house. 

Again, when the next morning came, the King went as 
usual to his council-chamber, and the Emirs and Weziis and 
Chamberlains surrounded him. Now there was, among his 
Wezirs, one of ill aspect, and of evil star; sordid, avaricious, 
and of an envious and malicious disposition; and when he 
saw that the King had made the sage Duban his friend, and 
bestowed upon him these favours, he envied him his dis- 
tinction, and meditated evil against him ; agreeably with the 
adage which saith. There is no one void of envy ; — and 
another, which saith, Tyranny lurketh in the soul : power 
manifesteth it, and weakness concealeth it. So he approached 
the King, and kissed the ground before him, and said, O 
King of the age, thou art he whose goodness extendeth to 
all men, and I have an important piece of advice to give 
thee: if I were to conceal it from thee, I should be a base- 
born wretch: therefore, if thou order me to impart it, I will 
do so. The King, disturbed by these words of the Wezir, 
said, What is thy advice? He answered, O glorious King, 
it hath been said, by the ancients. He who looketh not to 
results, fortune will not attend him : — now I have seen the 
King in a way that is not right; since he hath bestowed 
favours upon his enemy, and upon him who desircth the 
downfall of his dominion: he hath treated him with kindness, 
and honoured him with the highest honours, and admitted 
him to the closest intimacy : I therefore fear, for the King, 
the consequence of this conduct. — At this the King was 
troubled and his countenance changed ; and he said. Who 
is he whom thou regardest as mine enemy, and to whom I 
shew kindness? He replied, O King, if thou hast been 
asleep, awake! I allude to the sage Duban. — The King 
said. He is my intimate companion, and the dearest of men 
in my estimation ; for he restored me by a thing that I 


merely held in my hand, and cured me of my disease which 
the physicians were unable to remove, and there is not now 
to be found one like to him in the whole world, from west 
to east. Wherefore, then, dost thou utter these words 
against him? I will, from this day, appoint him a regular 
salary and maintenance, and give him every month a thou- 
sand pieces of gold; and if I give him a share of my king- 
dom it were but a small thing to do unto him. I do not 
think that thou hast said this from any other motive than 
that of envy. If I didst what thou desirest, I should repent 
after it, as the man repented who killed his parrot. 

The Story of the Husband and 
THE Parrot 

There was a certain merchant, of an exceedingly jealous 
disposition, having a wife endowed with perfect beauty, who 
had prevented him from leaving his home ; but an event 
happened which obliged him to make a journey; and when 
he found his doing so to be indispensable, he went to the 
market in which birds were sold, and bought a parrot, which 
he placed in his house to act as a spy, that, on his return, 
she might inform him of what passed during his absence ; 
for this parrot was cunning and intelligent, and remembered 
whatever she heard. So, when he had made his journey, 
and accomplished his business, he returned, and caused the 
parrot to be brought to him, and asked her respecting the 
conduct of his wife. She answered. Thy wife has a lover, 
who visited her every night during thy absence, — and when 
the man heard this, he fell into a violent rage, and went to 
his wife, and gave her a severe beating. 

The woman imagined that one of the female slaves had 
informed him of what had passed between her and her 
paramour during his absence : she therefore called them 
together, and made them swear ; and they all swore that 
they had not told their master anything of the matter; but 
confessed that they had heard the parrot relate to him what 
had passed. Having thus established, on the testimony of 
the slaves, the fact of the parrot's having informed her 
husband of her intrigue, she ordered one of these slaves to 


grind with a hand-mill under the cage, another to sprinkle 
water from above, and a third to move a mirror from side 
to side, during the next night on which her husband was 
absent; and on the following morning, when the man re- 
turned from an entertainment at which he had been present, 
and inquired again of the parrot what had passed that 
night during his absence, the bird answered, O my master, 
I could neither see nor hear anything, on account of the 
excessive darkness, and thunder, and lightning, and rain. 
Now t'lis happened during summer : so he said to her. What 
strange words are these? It is now summer, when nothing 
of what thou hast described ever happens. — The parrot, 
however, swore by Allah the Great that what she had said 
was true; and that it had so happened: upon which the 
man, not understanding the case, nor knowing the plot, 
became violently enraged, and took out the bird from the 
cage, and threw her down upon the ground with such 
violence that he killed her. 

But after some days, one of his female slaves informed 
iiim of the truth; yet he would not believe it, until he saw 
his wife's paramour going out from his house; when he drew 
his sword, and slew the traitor by a blow on the back of his 
neck: so also did he to his treaclierous wife; and thus both 
of them went, laden with the sin which they had committed, 
to the fire; and the merchant discovered that the parrot had 
informed him truly of what she had seen; and he mourned 
grievously for her loss. 

When the Wezir heard these words of King Yunan, he 
said, O King of great dignity, what hath this crafty sage — 
this man from whom nought but mischief proceedeth — done 
unto me, that I should be his enemy, and speak evil of him, 
and plot with thee to destroy him? I have informed thee 
respecting him in compassion for thee, and in fear of his 
despoiling thee of thy happiness; and if my words be not 
true, destroy me, as the Wezir of Es-Sindibad was destroyed. 
— The King asked. How was that? And the Wezir thus 
answered : — 


The Story of the Envious Wezir and the Prince and 
THE Ghuleh 

The King above mentioned had a son who was ardently 
fond of the chase; and he had a Wezir whom he charged 
to be always with his son wherever he went. One day the 
son went forth to hunt, and his father's Wezir was with 
him; and as they rode together, they saw a great wild beast; 
upon which the Wezir exclaimed to the Prince, Away after 
this wild beast! The King's son pursued it until he was 
out of the sight of his attendants, and the beast also escaped 
from before his eyes in the desert; and while the Prince 
wandered in perplexity, not knowing whither to direct his 
course, he met in his way a damsel, who was weeping. He 
said to her. Who art thou? — and she answered, I am a 
daughter of one of the kings of India; I was in the desert, 
and slumber overtook me, and I fell from my horse in a 
state of insensibility, and being thus separated from my 
attendants, I lost my way. The Prince, on hearing this, 
pitied her forlorn state, and placed her behind him on his 
horse; and as they proceeded, they passed by a ruin, and 
the damsel said to him, O my master, I would alight here 
for a little while. The Prince therefore lifted her from his 
horse at this ruin; but she delayed so long to return, that 
he wondered wherefore she had loitered so, and entering 
after her, without her knowledge, perceived that she was a 
GhulLh; and heard her say, My children, I have brought you 
to-day a fat young man: — on which they exclaimed, Bring 
him in to us, O mother ! that we may fill our stomachs 
with his flesh. When the Prince heard their words, he 
felt assured of destruction ; the muscles of his sides quivered, 
and fear overcame him, and he retreated. The Ghuleh then 
came forth, and, seeing that he appeared alarmed and fear- 
ful, and that he was trembling, said to him, Wherefore 
dost thou fear? He answered, I have an enemy of whom 
I am in fear. The Ghuleh said. Thou assertest thyself to 
be the son of the King. He replied. Yes. — Then, said she, 
wherefore dost thou not give some money to thine enemy, 

■^ A female Ghul, that eats men. 


and so conciliate him? He answered, He will not be ap- 
peased with money, nor with anything but life; and there- 
fore do I fear him: I am an injured man. She then said 
to him, if thou be an injured man, as thou afiSrmest, beg 
aid of God against thine oppressor, and He will avert from 
thee his mischievous design, and that of every other person 
whom thou fearest. Upon this, therefore, the Prince raised 
his head towards heaven, and said, O Thou who answerest 
the distressed when he prayeth to Thee, and dispellest evil, 
assist me, and cause mine enemy to depart from me; for 
Thou art able to do whatsoever Thou wilt ! — and the Ghuleh 
no sooner heard his prayer, than she departed from him. 
The Prince then returned to his father, and informed him of 
the conduct of the Wezir; upon which the King gave orders 
that the minister should be put to death. 

And thou, O King, continued the Wezir of King Yunan, 
if thou trust in this sage, he will kill thee in the foulest 
manner. If thou continue to bestow favours upon him, and 
to make him thine intimate companion, he will plot thy 
destruction. Dost thou not see that he hath cured thee of 
the disease by external means, by a thing that thou heldest 
in thy hand? Therefore thou art not secure against his 
killing thee by a thing that thou shalt hold in the same 
manner. — King Yunan answered, Thou hast spoken truth : 
the case is as thou hast said, O faithful Wezir : it is probable 
that this sage came as a spy to accomplish my death; and if 
he cured me by a thing I held in my hand, he may destroy 
me by a thing that I may smell : what then, O Wezir, shall 
be done respecting him? The Wezir answered. Send to him 
immediately, and desire him to come hither ; and when he is 
come, strike off his head, and so shalt thou avert from thee 
his evil design, and be secure from him. Betray him before 
he betray thee. — The King said. Thou hast spoken right. 

Immediately, therefore, he sent for the sage, who came, 
full of joy, not knowing what the Compassionate had decreed 
against him, and addressed the King with these words of 
the poet — 

If I fail any day to render thee due thanks, tell me for whom I 
have composed my verse and prose. 


Thou hast loaded me with favours unsolicited, bestowed without 

delay on thy part, or excuse. 
How then should I abstain from praising thee as thou deservest, 

and lauding thee both with my heart and voice? 
Nay, I will thank thee for thy benefits conferred upon me : they are 

light upon my tongue, though weighty to my back. 

Knowest thou, said the King, wherefore I have summoned 
thee? The sage answered, None knoweth what is secret 
but God, whose name be exalted ! Then said the King, I 
have summoned thee that I may take away thy life. The 
sage, in the utmost astonishment at this announcement, said, 

King, wherefore wouldst thou kill me, and what offence 
hath been committed by me? The King answered, It hath 
been told me that thou art a spy, and that thou hast come 
hither to kill me: but I will prevent thee by killing thee 
first : — and so saying, he called out to the executioner. Strike 
off the head of this traitor, and relieve me from his wicked- 
ness. — Spare me, said the sage, and so may God spare thee ; 
and destroy me not, lest God destroy thee. — And he repeated 
these words several times, like as I did, O 'Efrit ; but thou 
wouldst not let me go, desiring to destroy me. 

King Yunan then said to the sage Duban, I shall not be 
secure unless I kill thee ; for thou curedst me by a thing 
that I held in my hand, and I have no security against thy 
killing me by a thing that I may smell, or by some other 
means. — O King, said the sage, is this my recompense from 
thee ? Dost thou return evil for good ? — The King answered. 
Thou must be slain without delay. When the sage, there- 
fore, was convinced that the King intended to put him to 
death, and that his fate was inevitable, he lamented the 
benefit that he had done to the undeserving. The execu- 
tioner then advanced, and bandaged his eyes, and, having 
drawn his sword, said. Give permission. Upon this the sage 
wept, and said again. Spare me, and so may God spare 
thee ; and destroy me not, lest God destroy thee ! Wouldst 
thou return me the recompense of the crocodile? — What, 
said the King, is the story of the crocodile ? The sage 
answered, I cannot relate it while in this condition ; but 

1 conjure thee by Allah to spare me, and so may He spare 
thee. And he wept bitterly. Then one of the chief officers 


of the King arose, and said, O King, give up to me the 
blood of this sage; for we have not seen him commit any 
offence against thee; nor have we seen him do aught but 
cure thee of thy disease, which wearied the other physicians 
and sages. The King answered. Ye know not the reason 
wherefore I would kill the sage: it is this, that if I suffered 
him to live, I should myself inevitably perish ; for he who 
cured me of the disease under which I suffered by a thing 
that I held in my hand, may kill me by a thing that I may 
smell; and I fear that he would do so, and would receive an 
appointment on account of it; seeing that it is probable 
he is a spy who hath come hither to kill me; I must therefore 
kill him, and then shall I feel myself safe. — The sage then 
said again. Spare me, and so may God spare thee; and de- 
stroy me not, lest God destroy thee. 

But he now felt certain, O 'Efrit, that the King would put 
him to death, and that there was no escape for him; so he 
said, O King, if my death is indispensable, grant me some 
respite, that I may return to my house, and acquit myself of 
my duties, and give directions to my family and neighbours 
to bury me, and dispose of my medical books; and among 
my books is one of the most especial value, which I offer as a 
present to thee, that thou mayest treasure it in thy library. — 
And what, said the King, is this book.'' He answered, It 
contains things not to be enumerated; and the smallest of 
the secret virtues that it possesses is this; that, when thou 
hast cut off my head, if thou open this book, and count 
three leaves, and then read three lines on the page to the 
left, the head will speak to thee, and answer whatever thou 
shalt ask. At this the King was excessively astonished, 
and shook with delight, and said to him, O Sage, when I 
have cut off thy head will it speak? He answered. Yes, 
O King; and this is a wonderful thing. 

The King then sent him in the custody of guards ; and 
the sage descended to his house, and settled all his affairs on 
that day; and on the following day he went up to the court: 
and the Emirs and Wezirs, and Chamberlains and Deputies, 
and all the great officers of the state, went thither also : and 
the court resembled a flower-garden. And when the sage 
had entered, he presented himself before the King, bearing 


an old book, and a small pot containing a powder: and he 
sat down, and said. Bring me a tray. So they brought him 
one; and he poured out the powder into it, and spread it. 
He then said, O King, take this book, and do nothing with 
it until thou hast cut off my head ; and when thou hast done 
«o, place it upon this tray, and order some one to press it 
down upon the powder ; and when this is done, the blood 
will be stanched : then open the book. As soon as the 
sage had said this, the King gave orders to strike off his 
head; and it was done. The King then opened the book, 
and found that iis leaves were stuck together; so he put his 
finger to his motth, and moistened it with his spittle, and 
opened the first letf, and the second, and the third; but the 
leaves were not opened without difficulty. He opened six 
leaves, and looked at them ; but found upon them no 
writing. So he said, O Sage, there is nothing written in it. 
The head of the sage answered. Turn over more leaves. 
The King did so ; and in a little while, the poison penetrated 
into his system; for the book was poisoned; and the King 
fell back, and cried out. The poison hath penetrated into 
me ! — and upon this, the head of the sage Duban repeated 
these verses: — 

They made use of their power, and used it tyrannically; and soon it 

became as though it never had existed. 
Had they acted equitably, they had experienced equity; but they 

oppressed ; wherefore fortune oppressed them with calamities 

and trials. 
Then did the case itself announce to them, This is the reward of 

your conduct, and fortune is blameless. 

And when the head of the sage Duban had uttered these 
words, the King immediately fell down dead. 

Now, O 'Efrit, continued the fisherman, know that if 
King Yunan had spared the sage, Duban, God had spared 
him; but he refused, and desired his destruction; therefore 
God destroyed him ; and thou, O 'Efrit, if thou hadst spared 
me, God had spared thee, and I had spared thee; but thou 
desiredst my death; therefore will I put thee to death 
imprisoned in this bottle, and will throw thee here into the 
sea. The Marid, upon this, cried out, and said, I conjure 


thee by Allah, O fisherman, that thou do it not: spare me in 
generosity, and be not angry with me for what I did ; but if 
I have done evil, do thou good, according to the proverb, — 
O thou benefactor of him who hath done evil, the action that 
he hath done is sufficient for him : — do not therefore as 
Umameh did to 'Atikeh. — And what, said the fisherman, was 
their case? The 'Efrit answered, This is not a time for 
telling stories, when I am in this prison ; but when thou 
liberatest me, I will relate to thee their case. The fisherman 
said. Thou must be thrown into the sea, and there shall be 
no way of escape for thee from it ; for I endeavoured to 
propitiate thee, and humbled myself befce thee, yet thou 
wouldest nothing but my destruction, though I had com- 
mitted no offence to deserve it, and had clone no evil to thee 
whatever, but only good, delivering thee from thy confine- 
ment ; and when thou didst thus unto me, I perceived that 
thou wast radically corrupt: and I would have thee know, 
that my motive for throwing thee into this sea, is that I may 
acquaint with thy story every one that shall take thee out, 
and caution him against thee, that he may cast thee in 
again : thus shalt thou remain in this sea to the end of time, 
and experience varieties of torment. — The 'Efrit then said, 
Liberate me, for this is an opportunity for thee to display 
humanity; and I vow to thee that I will never do thee harm; 
but, on the contrary, will do thee a service that shall enrich 
thee for ever. 

Upon this the fisherman accepted his covenant that he 
would not hurt him, but that he would do him good ; and 
when he had bound him by oaths and vows, and made him 
swear by the Most Great Name of God, he opened to him; 
and the smoke ascended until it had all come forth, and 
then collected together, and became, as before, an 'Efrit of 
hideous form. The 'Efrit then kicked the bottle into the 
sea. When the fisherman saw him do this, he made sure 
of destruction, and said. This is no sign of good : — but 
afterwards he fortified his heart, and said, O 'Efrit, God, 
whose name be exalted, hath said. Perform the covenant, 
for the covenant shall be inquired into:' — and thou hast 
covenanted with me. and sworn that thou wilt not act 

® Kur'an, xvii. 36. 


treacherously towards me; therefore, if thou so act, God 
will recompense thee; for He is jealous; He respiteth, but 
suffereth not to escape ; and remember that I said to thee 
as said the sage Duban to King Yunan, Spare me, and so 
may God spare thee. 

The 'Efrit laughed, and walking on before him, said, O 
fisherman, follow me. The fisherman did so, not believing 
in his escape, until they had quitted the neighbourhood of 
the city, and ascended a mountain, and descended into a 
wide desert tract, in the midst of which was a lake of water. 
Here the 'Efrit stopped, and ordered the fisherman to cast 
his net and take some fish ; and the fisherman, looking into 
the lake, saw in it fish of different colours, white and red 
and blue and yellow ; at which he was astonished ; and he 
cast his net, and drew it in, and found in it four fish, each 
fish" of a different colour from the others, at the sight of 
which he rejoiced. The 'Efrit then said to him. Take them 
to the Sultan, and present them to him, and he will give 
thee what will enrich thee; and for the sake of God accept 
my excuse, for, at present, I know no other way of reward- 
ing thee, having been in the sea a thousand and eight 
hundred years, and not seen the surface of the earth until 
now ; but take not fish from the lake more than once each 
day: and now I commend thee to the care of God. — Having 
thus said, he struck the earth with his feet, and it clove 
asunder, and swallowed him. 

The fisherman then went back to the city, wondering at 
all that had befallen him with the 'Efrit, and carried the fish 
to his house; and he took an earthen bowl, and, having 
filled it with water, put the fish into it; and they struggled 
in the water: and when he had done this, he placed the 
bowl upon his head, and repaired to the King's palace, as 
the 'Efrit had commanded him, and, going up unto the 
King, presented to him the fish; and the King was exces- 
sively astonished at them, for he had never seen any like 
them in the course of his life; and he said. Give these fish 
to the slave cook-maid. This maid had been sent as a 
present to him by the King of the Greeks, three days 
before ; and he had not yet tried her skill. The Wezir, 
therefore, ordered her to fry the fish, and said to her, O 


maid, the King saith unto thee, I have not reserved my tear 
but for the time of my difficulty: — to-day, then, gratify us by 
a specimen of thy excellent cookery, for a person hath 
brought these fish as a present to the Sultan. After having 
thus charged her, the Wezir returned, and the King ordered 
him to give the fisherman four hundred pieces of gold: so 
the Wezir gave them to him; and he took them in his lap, 
and returned to his home and his wife, joyful and happy, and 
bought what was needful for his family. 

Such were the events that befell the fisherman: now we 
must relate what happened to the maid. — She took the fish, 
and cleaned them, and arranged them in the frying-pan, and 
left them until one side was cooked, when she turned them 
upon the other side; and lo, the wall of the kitchen clove 
asunder, and there came forth from it a damsel of tall 
stature, smooth-cheeked, of perfect form, with eyes adorned 
with kohl, beautiful in countenance, and with heavy, swelling 
hips; wearing a kufiyeh interwoven with blue silk; with 
rings in her ears, and bracelets on her wrists, and rings set 
W'ith precious jewels on her fingers ; and in her hand was a 
rod of Indian cane: and she dipped the end of the rod in 
the frying-pan, and said, O fish, are ye remaining faithful to 
your covenant? At the sight of this, the cook-maid fainted. 
The damsel then repeated the same words a second and a 
third time; after which the fish raised their heads from the 
frying-pan, and answered, Yes, yes. They then repeated 
the following verse : — 

If thou return, we return; and if thou come, we come; and if thou 
forsake, we verily do the same. 

And upon this the damsel overturned the frying-pan, and 
departed by the way she had entered, and the wall of the 
kitchen closed up again. The cook-maid then arose, and 
beheld the four fish burnt like charcoal ; and she exclaimed. 
In his first encounter his staff broke ! — and as she sat re- 
proaching herself, she beheld the Wezir standing at her 
head; and he said to her, Bring the fish to the Sultan: — 
and she wept, and informed him of what had happened. 

The Wezir was astonished at her words, and exclaimed. 
This is indeed a wonderful event; — and he sent for the 


fisherman, and when he was brought, he said to him, O 
fisherman, thou must bring to us four fish like those which 
thou broughtest before. The fisherman accordingly went 
forth to the lake, and threw his net, and when he had drawn 
it in he found in it four fish as before; and he took them to 
the Wezir, who went with them to the maid, and said to her, 
Rise, and fry them in my presence, that I may witness this 
occurrence. The maid, therefore, prepared the fish, and 
put them in the frying-pan, and they had remained but a 
little while, when the wall clove asunder, and the damsel 
appeared, clad as before, and holding the rod; and she 
dipped the end of the rod in the frying-pan, and said, O fish, 
O fish, are ye remaining faithful to your old covenant ? Upon 
which they raised their heads, and answered as before; and 
the damsel overturned the frying-pan with the rod, and re- 
turned by the way she had entered, and the wall closed up 

The Wezir then said, This is an event which cannot be 
concealed from the King: — so he \vent to him, and informed 
him of what had happened in his presence; and the King 
said, I must see this with my own eyes. He sent, therefore, 
to the fisherman, and commanded him to bring four fish like 
the former, granting him a delay of three days. And the 
fisherman repaired to the lake, and brought the fish thence 
to the King, who ordered again that four hundred pieces of 
gold should be given to him ; and then, turning to the 
Wezir, said to him. Cook the fish thyself here before me. 
The Wezir answered, I hear and obey. He brought the 
frying-pan, and after he had cleaned the fish, threw them 
into it; and as soon as he had turned them, the wall clove 
asunder, and there came forth from it a negro, in size like a 
bull, or like one of the tribe of 'Ad,'' having in his hand 
a branch of a green tree; and he said, with a clear but 
terrifying voice, O fish, O fish, are ye remaining faithful to 
your old covenant? Upon which they raised their heads, 
and answered as before, Yes, yes: 

If thou return, we return ; and if thou come, we come ; and if thou 
forsake, we verily do the same. 

^The smallest of the ancient Arab tribe of 'Ad is said to have been 
sixty cubits high. 


The black then approached the frying-pan, and overturned 
it with the branch, and the fish became like charcoal, and 
he went away as he had come. 

When he had thus disappeared from before their eyes, 
the King said, This is an event respecting which it is im- 
possible to keep silence, and there must, undoubtedly, be 
some strange circumstance connected with these fish. He 
then ordered that the fisherman should be brought before 
him, and when he had come, he said to him. Whence came 
these fish? The fisherman answered, From a lake between 
four mountains behind this mountain which is without thy 
city. The King said to him. How many days' journey 
distant? He answered, O our lord the Sultan, a journey 
of half-an-hour. And the Sultan was astonished, and ordered 
his troops to go out immediately with him and the fisherman, 
who began to curse the 'Efrit. They proceeded until they 
had ascended the mountain, and descended into a wide 
desert tract which they had never before seen in their whole 
lives; and the Sultan and all the troops wondered at the 
sight of this desert, which was between four mountains, 
and at the fish, which were of four colors, red and white and 
yellow and blue. The King paused in astonishment, and 
said to the troops, and to the other attendants who were 
with him. Hath any one of you before seen this lake in this 
place? They all answered. No. Then said the King, By 
Allah, I will not enter my city, nor will I sit upon my throne, 
until I know the true history of this lake, and of its fish. 
And upon this he ordered his people to encamp around these 
mountains; and they did so. He then called for the Wezir, 
who was a well-informed, sensible, prudent, and learned 
man; and when he had presented himself before him, he 
said to him, I desire to do a thing with which I will acquaint 
thee; and it is this: — I have resolved to depart alone this 
night, to seek for information respecting this lake and 
its fish : therefore, sit thou at the door of my pavilion, 
and say to the Emirs and Wezirs and Chamberlains, The 
Sultan is sick, and hath commanded me not to allow any 
person to go in unto him : — and acquaint no one with my 

The Wezir was unable to oppose his design; so the King 


disguised himself, and slung on his sword, and withdrew 
himself from the midst of his troops. He journeyed the 
e.-hole of the night, until the morning, and proceeded until the 
heat became oppressive to him: he then paused to rest; after 
which he again proceeded the remainder of the day and the 
second night until the morning, when there appeared before 
him, in the distance, something black, at the sight of which 
he rejoiced, and said. Perhaps I shall there find some person 
who will inform me of the history of the lake and its fish. 
And when he approached this black object, he found it to be 
a palace built of black stones, and overlaid with iron; and 
one of the leaves of its door was open, and the other shut. 
The King was glad, and he stood at the door, and knocked 
gently, but heard no answer; he knocked a second and a 
third time, but again heard no answer: then he knocked a 
fourth time, and with violence ; but no one answered. So 
he said, It is doubtless empty : — and he took courage, and 
entered from the door into the passage, and cried out, 
saying, O inhabitants of the palace, I am a stranger and a 
traveller ! have ye any provision ? And he repeated these 
Avords a second and a third time; but heard no answer. 
And upon this he fortified his heart, and emboldened him- 
self, and proceeded from the passage into the midst of the 
palace ; but he found no one there, and only saw that it was 
furnished, and that there was, in the centre of it, a fountain 
with four lions of red gold, which poured forth the water 
from their mouths, like pearls and jewels: around this were 
birds; and over the top of the palace was extended a net 
which prevented their flying out. At the sight of these 
objects he was astonished, and he was grieved that he saw 
no person there whom he could ask for information respect- 
ing the lake, and the fish, and the mountains, and the palace. 
He then sat down between the doors, reflecting upon these 
things; and as he thus sat, he heard a voice of lamentation 
from a sorrowful heart, chanting these verses: — 

O fortune, thou pitiest me not, nor releasest me ! See my heart is 

straitened between affliction and peril ! 
Will not you [O my wife] have compassion on the mip;hty whom 

love hath abased, and the wealthy who is reductxl to 

indigence ? 


We were jealous even of the zephyr which passed over you : but 

when the divine decree is issued, the eye becometh blind ! 
What resource hath the archer when, in the hour of conflict, ' > 

desireth to discharge the arrow, but findeth his bow-strit.^ 

broken ? 
And when troubles are multiplied upon the noble-minded, where 

shall he find refuge from fate and from destiny? 

When the Sultan heard this lamentation, he sprang upon 
his feet, and, seeking the direction whence it proceeded, 
found a curtain suspended before the door of a chamber; 
and he raised it, and beheld behind it a young man sitting 
on a couch raised to the height of a cubit from the floor. 
He was a handsome youth, well-shaped, and of eloquent 
speech, with shining forehead, and rosy cheek, marked with 
a mole resembling ambergris. The King was rejoiced at 
seeing him, and saluted him; and the young man (who 
remained sitting, and was clad with a vest of silk, embroid- 
ered with gold, but who exhibited traces of grief) returned 
his salutation, and said to him, O my master, excuse my not 
rising. — youth ! said the King, inform me respecting the 
lake, and its fish of various colours, and respecting this 
palace, and the reason of thy being alone in it, and of thy 
lamentation. When the young man heard these words, 
tears trickled down his cheeks, and he wept bitterly. And 
the King was astonished, and said to him. What causeth 
thee to weep, O youth? He answered. How can I refrain 
from weeping, when this is my state? — and so saying, he 
stretched forth his hand, and lifted up the skirts of his 
clothing; and lo, half of him, from his waist to the soles of 
his feet, was stone; and from his waist to the hair of his 
head, he was like other men. He then said, Know, O King, 
that the story of the fish is extraordinary; if it were engraved 
upon the intellect, it would be a lesson to him who would be 
admonished : — and he related as follows : — 

The Story of the Young King of the Bl.vck Islands 

My father was king of the city which was here situate: 
his name was JMahnuid, and he was lord of the Black Islands, 
and of the four mountains. After a reign of seventy years. 


he died, and I succeeded to his throne ; whereupon I took 
as my wife the daughter of my uncle; and she loved me 
excessively, so that when I absented myself from her, she 
would neither eat nor drink till she saw me again. She 
remained under my protection five years. After this, she 
went one day to the bath; and I had commanded the cook 
to prepare the supper, and entered this palace, and slept in 
my usual place. I had ordered two maids to fan me ; and 
one of them sat at my head, and the other at my feet ; but I 
was restless, because my wife was not with me; and I could 
not sleep. My eyes were closed, but my spirit was awake ; 
and I heard the maid at my head say to her at my feet, O 
Mes'udeh, verily our lord is unfortunate in his youth, and 
what a pity is it that it should be passed with our depraved, 
wicked mistress ! — Perdition to unfaithful wives ! replied the 
other: but (added she) such a person as our lord, so en- 
dowed by nature, is not suited to this profligate woman, who 
passes every night absent from his bed. — Verily, rejoined she 
at my head, our lord is careless in not making any inquiry 
respecting her. — Wo to thee ! said the other : hath our lord 
any knowledge of her conduct, or doth she leave him to his 
choice? Nay, on the contrary, she contriveth to defraud 
him by means of the cup of wine which he drinketh every 
night before he sleepeth, putting benj^ into it ; in conse- 
quence of which he sleepeth so soundly that he knoweth not 
what happeneth, nor whither she goeth, nor what she doeth ; 
for, after she hath given him the wine to drink, she dresseth 
herself, and goeth out from him, and is absent until day- 
break, when she returneth to him, and burneth a perfume 
under his nose, upon which he awaketh from his sleep. 

When I heard this conversation of the maids, the light 
became darkness before my face, and I was hardly conscious 
of the approach of night, when my cousin returned from 
the bath. The table was prepared, and we ate, and sat a 
while drinking our wine as usual. I then called for the 
wine which I was accustomed to drink before I lay down to 
sleep, and she handed to me the cup; but I turned away, 
and, pretending to drink it as I was wont to do, poured it 
into my bosom, and immediately lay down : upon which 

* J^hang, hemp. 


she said, Sleep on ; I wish that thou wouldst never wake 
again ! By Allah, I abhor thee, and abhor thy person, and 
my soul is weary of thy company ! — She then arose, and 
attired herself in the most magnificent of her apparel, and, 
having perfumed herself, and slung on a sword, opened the 
door of the palace, and went out. I got up immediately, 
and followed her until she had quitted the palace, and 
passed through the streets of the city, and arrived at the 
city-gates, when she pronounced some words that I under- 
stood not; whereupon the locks fell off, and the gates 
opened, and she went out, I still following her, without her 
knowledge. Thence she proceeded to a space among the 
mounds, and arrived at a strong edifice, in which was a 
kubbeh" constructed of mud, with a door, which she entered. 
I then climbed upon the roof of the kubbeh, and, looking 
down upon her through an aperture, saw that she was 
visiting a black slave, whose large lips, one of which over- 
lapped the other, gathered up the sand from the pebbly 
floor, while he lay, in a filthy and wet condition, upon a 
few stalks of sugar-cane. 

She kissed the ground before this slave ; and he raised 
his head towards her, and said, Wo to thee ! Wherefore 
hast thou remained away until this hour? The other blacks 
have been here drinking wine, and each of them has gone 
away with his mistress ; and I refused to drink on thy 
account. — She answered, O my master, and beloved of my 
heart, knowest thou not that I am married to my cousin, 
and that I abhor every man who resembles him, and hate 
myself while I am in his company? If I did not fear to 
displease thee, I would reduce the city to ruins, so that the 
owl and the raven should cry in it, and would transport its 
stones beyond Mount Kaf.^" — Thou liest, thou infamous 
woman, replied the slave; and I swear by the generosity 
of the blacks (and if I speak not truth, may our valour be as 
the valour of the whites), that if thou loiter as thou hast 
now done till this hour, I will no longer give thee my 
company, nor approach thy person, thou faithless one ? 
Dost thou inconvenience me for the sake of thine o*vn 

• A building with a dome. 
1* The chain of mountains believed by Muslims to encircle the earth. 


pleasure, thou filthy wretch, and vilest of the whites? — 
When I heard (continued the King) their words, and wit- 
nessed what passed between them, the world became dark 
before my face, and I knew not where I was. — My cousin still 
stood weeping, and abasing herself before him, and said, 

my beloved, and treasure of my heart, there remaineth 
to me none but thee for whom I care, and if thou cast me 
off, alas for me ! O my beloved ! O light of mine eye ! — 
Thus she continued to weep, and to humble herself before 
him, until he became pacified towards her; upon which 
she rejoiced, and arose, and, having disrobed herself, said 
to him, O my master, hast thou here anything that thy maid 
may eat ? He answered. Uncover the dough-pan ; it con- 
tains some cooked rats' bones : eat of them, and pick them ; 
and take this earthen pot: thou wilt find in it some buzah" 
to drink. So she arose, and ate and drank, and washed her 
hands ; after which she lay down by the side of the slave, 
upon the stalks of sugar-cane, and covered herself with his 
tattered clothes and rags. 

When I saw her do this, I became unconscious of my 
existence, and, descending from the roof of the kubbeh, 
entered, and took the sword from the side of my cousin, 
with the intention of killing them both. I struck the slave 
upon his neck, and thought that he was killed ; but the 
blow, which I gave with the view of severing his head, only 
cut the gullet and skin and flesh; and when I thought that 

1 had killed him, he uttered a loud snore, upon which my 
cousin started up, and, as soon as I had gone, took the 
sword, and returned it to its scabbard, and came back to 
the city and to the palace, and lay down again in my bed, 
in which she remained until the morning. 

On the following day, I observed that my cousin had 
cut off her hair, and put on the apparel of mourning; and 
she said to me, O my cousin, blame me not for what I do; 
for I have received news that my mother is dead, and that 
my father hath been slain in a holy war, and that one of my 
two brothers hath died of a poisonous sting, and the other 
by the fall of a house: it is natural, therefore, that I should 
"vveep and mourn. On hearing these words, I abstained 

" Barley-beer. 


from upbraiding her, and said, Do what seemeth fit to thee ; 
for I will not oppose thee. Accordingly, she continued 
mourning and weeping and wailing a whole year; after 
which she said to me, I have a desire to build for myself, 
in thy palace, a tomb, with a kubbeh, that I may repair 
thither alone to mourn, and I will call it the House of 
Lamentations. I replied. Do what thou seest fit. So she 
built for herself a house for mourning, with a kubbeh in the 
middle of it, like the tomb of a saint; after which she 
removed thither the slave, and there she lodged him. He 
was in a state of excessive weakness, and unable to render 
her any service, though he drank wine; and from the day 
on which I had wounded him, he had never spoken; yet 
he remained alive, because the appointed term of his life 
had not expired. My cousin every day visited him in this 
tomb early and late, to weep and mourn over him, and took 
to him wine to drink, and boiled meats; and thus she con- 
tinued to do, morning and evening, until the expiration of 
the second year, while I patiently suffered her, till, one day, 
I entered her apartments unawares, and found her weeping, 
and slapping her face, and repeating these verses : — 

I have lost my existence among mankind since your absence ; foF 

my heart loveth none but you. 
Take my body, then, in mercy, to the place where you are laid ; 

and there bury me by your side : 
And if, at my grave, you utter my name, the moaning of my bones 

shall answer to your call. 

As soon as he had finished the recitation of these verses, 
I said to her, holding my drawn sword in my hand. This is 
the language of those faithless women who renounce the 
ties of aflSnity, and regard not lawful fellowship ! — and I 
was about to strike her with the sword, and had lifted up my 
arm to do so, when she rose — for she knew that it was I 
who had wounded the slave — and, standing before me, 
pronounced some words which I understood not, and said, 
May God, by means of my enchantment, make thee to be 
half of stone, and half of the substance of man ! — whereupon 
I became as thou scest, unable to move, neither dead nor 
alive; and when I had been reduced to this state, she 


-J. ;iiaiited the city and its markets and fields. The inhab-. 
i',jnts of our city were of four classes ; Muslims and 
Christians, and Jews and Magians; and she transformed 
them into fish : the white are the Muslims ; the red, the 
Magians ; the blue, the Christians ; and the yellow, the Jews. 
She transformed, also, the four islands into four mountains, 
and placed them around the lake; and from that time she 
has continued every day to torture me, inflicting upon me a 
hundred lashes with a leathern whip, until the blood flows 
from my wounds; after which she puts on my upper half a 
vest of hair-cloth, beneath these garments. — Having said thus, 
the young man wept, and ejaculated the following verses: — 

Give me patience, O Allah, to bear what Thou decreest ! I will 

be patient, if so I may obtain thine approval. 
I am straitened, indeed, by the calamity that hath befallen me : but 

the Family of the favoured Prophet shall intercede for me ! 

LTpon this, the King, looking towards the young man, 
said to him, O youth, thou hast increased my anxiety. And 
where (he added) is this woman? — The young man answered, 
She is in the tomb where the slave is lying, in the kubbeh ; 
and every day, before she visits him, she strips me of my 
clothing, and inflicts upon me a hundred lashes with the 
whip, while I weep and cry out, unable to move so as to 
repulse her. After thus torturing me, she repairs early to 
the slave, with the wine and boiled meat. — By Allah, O 
youth, said the King, I will do thee an act of kindness for 
which I shall be remembered, and a favour which historians 
shall record in a biography after me. 

He then sat and conversed Avith him until the approach 
of night, upon which he arose, and waited till the first dawn 
of day, when he took off his clothes, and slung on his sword, 
and went to the place where the slave lay. After remarking 
the candles and lamps, and perfumes and ointments, he ap- 
proached the slave, and with a blow of his sword slew him ; 
he then carried him on his back, and threw him into a well 
which he found in the palace, and returning to the kubbeh, 
clad himself with the slave's clothes, and lay down with the 
drawn sword by his side. Soon after, the vile enchantress -] 
went to her cousin, and, having pulled off his clothes, took 



■fae whip and beat him, while he cried, Ah ! it is euOLt.e ;enQ 
for me to be in this state! Have pity on me then! — Di«.edf- 
thou shew pity to me, she exclaimed, and didst thou spar,! 
my lover? — She then put on him the hair-cloth vest and his 
outer garments, and repaired to the slave with a cup of wine, 
and a bowl of boiled meat. Entering the tomb, she wept 
and wailed, exclaiming, O my master, answer me ! O my 
master, speak to me ! — and poured forth her lamentation in 
the words of this verse : — 

How long shall this aversion and harshness continue ? Sufficient 
is the evil which my passion hath brought upon me I 

Then, weeping, as before, she exclaimed again, O my master, 
answer me and speak to me ! Upon this the King, speak- 
ing in a low voice, and adapting his tongue to the pronuncia- 
tion of the blacks ejaculated. Ah! Ah! there is no strength 
nor power but in God ! On hearing these words, she screamed 
with joy, and fell down in a swoon; and when she recovered, 
she exclaimed. Possibly my master is restored to health ! 
The King, again lowering his voice, as if from weakness, 
replied. Thou profligate wretch, thou deservest not that I 
should address thee. — Wherefore? said she. He answered, 
Because all the day long thou tormentest thy husband, while 
he calleth out, and imploreth the aid of God, so that thou 
hast prevented my sleeping from the commencement of dark- 
ness untjl morning: thy husband hath not ceased to humble 
himself, and to imprecate vengeance upon thee, till he hath 
distracted me ; and had it not been for this, I had recovered 
my strength: this it is which hath prevented my answering 
thee. — Then, with thy permission, she replied, I will liberate 
him from his present sufferings. — Liberate him, said the 
King, and give us ease. 

She replied, I hear and obey; — and immediately arose, 
and went out from the kubbeh to the palace, and, taking a 
cup, filled it with water, and pronounced certain words over 
it, upon which it began to boil like a cauldron. She then 
sprinkled some of it upon her cousin, saying, By virtue of 
what I have uttered, be changed from thy present state to 
that in which thou wast at first !— and instantly he shook, 
and stood upon his feet, rejoicing in his liberation, and 


exclaimed, I testify that there is no deity but God, and that 
Mohammad is God's Apostle ; God bless and save him ! 
She then said to him, Depart, and return not hither, or I 
will kill thee : — and she cried out in his face : so he departed 
from before her, and she returned to the kubbeh, and said, O 
my master, come forth to me that I may behold thee. He 
replied, with a weak voice. What hast thou done ? Thou hast 
relieved me from the branch, but hast not relieved me from 
the root. — O my beloved, she said, and what is the root ? He 
answered. The people of this city, and of the four islands: 
every night, at the middle hour, the fish raise their heads, and 
imprecate vengeance upon me and upon thee; and this is the 
cause that preventeth the return of vigour to my body ; there- 
fore, liberate them, and come, and take my hand, and raise 
me ; for vigour hath already in part returned to me. 

On hearing these words of the King, whom she imagined 
to be the slave, she said to him with joy, O my master, on 
my head and my eye ! In the name of Allah ! — and she 
sprang up, full of happiness, and hastened to the lake, where, 
taking a little of its water, she pronounced over it some un- 
intelligible words, whereupon the fish became agitated, and 
raised their heads, and immediately became converted into 
men as before. Thus was the enchantment removed from 
the inhabitants of the city, and the city became repeopled, 
and the market-streets re-erected, and every one returned to 
his occupation : the mountains also became changed into 
islands as they were at the first. The enchantress then re- 
turned immediately to the King, whom she still imagined to 
be the slave, and said to him, O my beloved, stretch forth 
thy honoured hand, that I may kiss it. — Approach me, said 
the King in a low voice. So she drew near to him ; and 
he, having his keen-edged sword ready in his hand, thrust 
it into her bosom, and the point protruded from her back: 
he then struck her again, and clove her in twain, and went 

He found the young man who had been enchanted waiting 
his return, and congratulated him on his safety; and the 
young prince kissed his hand, and thanked him. The King 
then said to him. Wilt thou remain in thy city, or come with 
me to my capital? — O King of the age, said the young man, 


dost thou know the distance that is between thee and thy 
city? The King answered. Two days and a half. — O King, 
replied the young man, if thou hast been asleep, awake: be- 
tween thee and thy city is a distance of a year's journey to 
him who travelleth with diligence; and thou camest in two 
days and a half only because the city was enchanted: but, 
O King, I will never quit thee for the twinkling of an eye. 
The King rejoiced at his words, and said. Praise be to God, 
who hath in his beneficence given thee to me: thou art my 
son; for during my whole life, I have never been ble^t with 
a son: — and they embraced each other, and rejoiced exceed- 
ingly. They then went together into the palace, where the 
King who had been enchanted informed the officers of his 
court that he was about to perform the holy pilgrimage : so 
they prepared for him everything that he required; and he 
departed with the Sultan ; his heart burning with reflections 
upon his city, because he had been deprived of the sight of 
it for the space of a year. 

He set forth, accompanied by fifty memluks, and pro- 
vided with presents, and tliey continued their journey night 
and day for a whole year, after which they drew near to the 
city of the Sultan, and the Wezir and the troops, who had 
lost all hope of his return, came forth to meet him. The 
troops, approaching him, kissed the ground before him, and 
congratulated him on his safe return ; and he entered the 
city, and sat upon the throne. He then acquainted the Wezir 
with ajl that had happened to the young King; on hearing 
which, the Wezir congratulated the latter, also, on his safety; 
and when all things were restored to order, the Sultan be- 
stowed presents upon a number of his subjects, and said to 
the Wezir, Bring to me the fisherman who presented to me 
the fish. So he sent to this fisherman, who had been the 
cause of the restoration of the inhabitants of the enchanted 
city, and brought him; and the King invested him with a 
dress of honour, and inquired of him respecting his circum- 
stances, and whether he had any children. The fisherman 
informed him that he had a son and two daughters; and the 
King, on hearing this, took as his wife one of the daughters, 
and the young prince married the other. The King also con- 
ferred upon the son the office of treasurer. He then sent 


the Wezir to the city of the young prince, the capital of the 
Black Islands, and invested him with its sovereignty, des- 
patching with him the fifty memluks who had accompanied 
him thence, with numerous robes of honour to all the Emirs; 
and the Wezir kissed his hands, and set forth on his journey; 
while the Sultan and the young prince remained. And as to 
the fisherman, he became the wealthiest of the people of his 
age ; and his daughters continued to be the wives of the Kings 
until they died. 

But this (added Shahrazad) is not more wonderful than 
what happened to the porter. 

[Nights 9—18] 

The Story of the Porter and the Ladies of Baghdad, 
AND OF the Three Royal Mendicants, Etc. 

There was a man of the city of Baghdad, who was un- 
married, and he was a porter; and one day, as he sat in 
the market, reclining against his crate, there accosted him 
a female wrapped in an izar of the manufacture of El-Mosil,^ 
composed of gold-embroidered silk, with a border of gold 
lace at each end, who raised her face-veil, and displayed 
beneath it a pair of black eyes, with lids bordered by long 
lashes, exhibiting a tender expression, and features of perfect 
beauty; and she said, with a sweet voice, Bring thy crate, 
and follow me. 

The porter had scarcely heard her words when he took 
up his crate, and he followed her until she stopped at the 
door of a house, and knocked ; whereupon there came down 
to her a Christian, and she gave him a piece of gold, and 
received for it a quantity of olives, and two large vessels of 
wine, which she placed in the crate, saying to the porter. 
Take it up, and follow me. The porter exclaimed. This is, 
indeed, a fortunate day ! — and he took up the crate, and 
followed her. She next stopped at the shop of a fruiterer, 
and bought of him Syrian apples, and 'Othmani quinces, and 
peaches of 'Oman, and jasmine of Aleppo, and water-lilies 
of Damascus, and cucumbers of the Nile, and Egv^ptian 
limes, and Sultani citrons, and sweet-scented myrtle, and 
sprigs of the henna-tree, and chamomile, and anemones, and 
violets, and pomegranate-flowers, and eglantine : all these 
she put into the porter's crate, and said to him. Take it up. 
So he took it up, and followed her until she stopped at the 
shop of a butcher, to whom she said, Cut off ten pounds of 

i " Mosul," a city long famous for its fine stuffs. 



meat; — and he cut it off for her, and she \\Tappcd it in a 
leaf of a banana-tree, and put it in the crate, and said again, 
Take it up, O porter: — and he did so, and followed her. 
She next stopped at the shop of a seller of dry fruits, and 
took some of every kind of these, and desired the porter to 
take up his burden. Having obeyed, he followed her until 
she stopped at the shop of a confectioner, where she bought 
a dish, and filled it with sweets of every kind that he had, 
which she put into the crate ; whereupon the porter ventured 
to say, If thou hadst informed me beforehand. I had brought 
with me a mule to carry all these things. The lady smiled 
at his remark, and next stopped at the shop of a perfumer, 
of whom she bought ten kinds of scented waters ; rose- 
water, and orange-flower-water, and willow-flower-water, &c. ; 
together with some sugar, and a sprinkling-bottle of rose- 
water infused with musk, and some frankincense, and aloes- 
wood, and ambergris, and musk, and wax candles; and, 
placing all these in the crate, she said. Take up thy crate, 
and follow me. He, therefore, took it up, and followed her 
until she came to a handsome house, before which was a 
spacious court. It was a lofty structure, with a door of t\vx> 
leaves, composed of ebony, overlaid with plates of red gold. 
The young lady stopped at this door, and knocked 
gently; whereupon both its leaves were opened, and the 
porter, looking to see who opened it, found it to be a damsel 
of tall stature, high-bosomed, fair and beautiful, and of 
elegant form, w-ith a forehead like the bright new moon, 
eyes like those of gazelles, eyebrows like the new moon of 
Ramadan, cheeks resembling anemones, and a mouth like 
the seal of Suleyman : her countenance was like the full 
moon in its splendour, and the forms of her bosom resembled 
two pomegranates of equal size. When the porter beheld 
her, she captived his reason, the crate nearly fell from his 
head, and he exclaimed, Never in my life have I seen a 
more fortunate day than this ! The lady-portress, standing 
within the door, said to the cateress and the porter, Ye are 
welcome : — and they entered, and proceeded to a spacious 
saloon, decorated with various colours, and beautifully con- 
structed, with carved wood-work, and fountains, and benches 
of different kinds, and closets with curtains hanging before 


them ; there was also in it, at the upper end, a couch of 
alabaster inlaid with large pearls and jewels, with mos- 
quito-curtain of red satin suspended over it, and within this 
was a young lady with eyes possessing the enchantment of 
Babil," and a figure like the letter Alif, with a face that put 
to shame the shining sun: she was like one of the brilliant 
planets, or rather, one of the most high-born of the maidens 
of Arabia. This third lady, rising from the couch, advanced 
with a slow and elegant gait to the middle of the saloon, 
where her sisters were standing, and said to them. Why 
stand ye still? Lift down the burden from the head of 
this poor porter: — whereupon the cateress placed herself 
before him, and the portress behind him, and, the third 
lady assisting them, they lifted it down from his head. 
They then took out the contents of the crate, and, having 
put everything in its place, gave to the porter two pieces of 
gold, saying to him Depart, O porter. 

The porter, however, stood looking at the ladies, and 
admiring their beauty and their agreeable dispositions; for 
he had never seen any more handsome ; and when he 
observed that they had not a man among thein, and gazed 
upon the wine, and fruits, and sweet-scented flowers, which 
were there, he was full of astonishment, and hesitated to go 
out; upon which one of the ladies said to him. Why dost 
thou not go? dost thou deem thy hire too little? Then 
turning to one of her sisters, she said to her. Give him 
another piece of gold. — By Allah, O my mistress, exclaimed 
the porter, my hire is but two half-dirhems, and I thought 
not what ye have given me too little; but my heart and 
mind were occupied with reflections upon you and your 
state, ye being alone, with no man among you, not one to 
amuse you with his company; for ye know that the men- 
areh^ standeth not firmly but on four walls: now ye have 
not a fourth, and the pleasure of women is not com- 
plete without men : ye are three only, and have need of a 
fourth, who should be a man, a person of sense, discreet, 

' Babil, or Babel, is regarded by the Muslims as the fountain-head of the 
science of magic, wliich was, and, as most think, still is, taught there to • 
mankind by two fallen angels, named Harut and Marut (Kur an, ii. 96), ' 
who are there suspended by the feet in a great pit closed by a mass of rock. 

" Minaret. 


acute, and a concealer of secrets. — We are maidens, they 
replied; and fear to impart our secret to him who will not 
keep it ; for we have read, in a certain history, this verse : — 

Guard thy secret from another : intrust it not : for he who intrusteth 
a secret hath lost it. 

— By your existence, said the porter, I am a man of sense, 
and trustworthy : I have read various books, and perused 
histories : I make known what is fair, and conceal what is 
foul, and act in accordance with the saying of the poet : — ■ 

None keepeth a secret but a faithful person : with the best of man- 
kind it remaineth concealed. 

A secret is with me as in a house with a lock, whose key is lost, 
and whose door is sealed. 

When the ladies heard the verses which he quoted, and the 
words with which he addressed them, they said to him. Thou 
knowest that we have expended here a considerable sum of 
money : hast thou then wherewith to requite us ? We will 
not suffer thee to remain with us unless thou contribute a 
sum of money; for thou desirest to sit with us, and to be 
our cup-companion, and to gaze upon our beautiful faces. — 
If friendship is without money, said the mistress of the house, 
it is not equivalent to the weight of a grain : — and the por- 
tress added, If thou hast nothing, depart with nothing: — 
but the cateress said, O sister, let us suffer him; for, verily, 
he hath not been deficient in his services for us this day: 
another had not been so patient with us : whatever, therefore, 
falls to his share of the expense, I will defray for him. — At 
this the porter rejoiced, and exclaimed. By Allah, I obtained 
my first and only pay this day from none but thee : — and 
the other ladies said to him, Sit down : thou art welcome. 

The cateress then arose, and, having tightened her girdle, 
arranged the bottles, and strained the wine, and prepared 
the table by the pool of the fountain. She made ready all 
that they required, brought the wine, and sat down with her 
sisters; the porter also sitting with them, thinking he was in 
a di"cam. And when they had seated themselves, the cater- 
ess took a jar of wine, and filled the first cup, and drank it: 
she then filled another, and handed it to one of her sisters; 


and in like manner she did to her other sister; after which 
she filled again, and handed the cup to the porter, who, 
having taken it from her hand, repeated this verse: — 

I will drink the wine, and enjoy health; for, verily, this beverage 
is a remedy for disease. 

The wine continued to circulate among them, and the porter, 
taking his part in the revels, dancing and singing with them, 
and enjoying the fragrant odours, began to hug and kiss 
them, while one slapped him, and another pulled him, and 
the third beat him with sweet-scented flowers, till, at length, 
the wine made sport with their reason; and they threw off 
all restraint, indulging their merriment with as much freedom 
as if no man had been present. 

Thus they continued until the approach of night, when 
they said to the porter, Depart, and shew us the breadth of 
thy shoulders ; — but he replied, Verily the departure of my 
soul from my body were more easy to me than my departure 
from your company; therefore suffer us to join the night to 
the day, and then each of us shall return to his own, or her 
own, affairs. The cateress, also, again interceded for him, 
saying, By my life I conjure you that ye suffer him to pass 
the night with us, that we may laugh at his drolleries, for he 
is a witty rogue. So they said to him. Thou shalt pass the 
night with us on this condition, that thou submit to our 
authority, and ask not an explanation of anything that thou 
shalt ^see. He replied, Good. — Rise then, said they, and 
read what is inscribed upon the door. Accordingly, he 
went to the door, and found the following inscription upon 
it in letters of gold, Speak not of that which doth not con- 
cern thee, lest thou hear that which will not please thee: — 
and he said, Bear witness to my promise that I will not 
speak of that which doth not concern me. 

The cateress then arose, and prepared for them a repast; 
and, after they had eaten a little, they lighted the candles 
and burned some aloes-wood. This done, they sat down 
again to the table ; and, while they were eating and drink- 
ing, they heard a knocking at the door; whereupon, without 
causing any interruption to their meal, one of them went to 
the door, and, on her return, said. Our pleasure this nio'ht is 


now complete, for I have found, at the door, three foreigners* 
with shaven chins, and each of them is bHnd of the left 
eye : it is an extraordinary coincidence. They are strangers 
newly arrived, and each of them has a ridiculous appearance: 
if they come in, therefore, we shall be amused with laughing 
at them. — The lady ceased not with these words, but con- 
tinued to persuade her sisters until they consented, and said, 
Let them enter ; but make it a condition with them that 
they speak not of that which doth not concern them, lest 
they hear that which will not please them. Upon this she 
rejoiced, and having gone again to the door, brought in the 
three men blind of one eye and with shaven chins, and they 
had thin and twisted mustaches. Being mendicants, they 
saluted and drew back ; but the ladies rose to them, and 
seated them; and when these three men looked at the 
porter, they saw that he was intoxicated; and, observing 
him narrowly, they thought that he was one of their own 
class, and said. He is a mendicant like ourselves, and will 
amuse us by his conversation : — but the porter, hearing what 
they said, arose, and rolled his eyes, and exclaimed to them. 
Sit quiet, and abstain from impertinent remarks. Have ye 
not read the inscription upon the door? — The ladies, laugh- 
ing, said to each other, Between the mendicants and the 
porter we shall find matter for amusement. They then 
placed before the former some food, and they ate, and then 
sat to drink. The portress handed to them the wine, and, 
as the cup was circulating among them, the porter said to 
them, Brothers, have ye any tale or strange anecdote where- 
with to amuse us? The mendicants, heated by the wine, 
asked for musical instruments ; and the portress brought 
them a tambourine of the manufacture of El-Mosil, with a 
lute of El-Irak, and a Persian harp ; whereupon they all 
arose ; and one took the tambourine ; another, the lute ; and 
the third, the harp: and they played upon these instru- 
ments, the ladies accompanying them with loud songs; and 
while they were thus diverting themselves, a person knocked 
at the door. The portress, therefore, went to see who was 
there ; and the cause of the knocking was this. 

The Khalifeh Harun Er-Rashid had gone forth this 

[* Or perhaps Kalenderi darwishes.J 
HCXVl — C 


night to see and hear what news he could collect, accom- 
panied by Ja'far his Wezir, and Mesrur his executioner. 
It was his custom to disguise himself in the attire of a 
merchant; and this night, as he went through the city, he 
happened to pass, with his attendants, by the house of these 
ladies, and hearing the sounds of the musical instruments, 
he said to Ja'far, I have a desire to enter this house, and 
to see who is giving this concert. — They are a party who 
have become intoxicated, replied Ja'far, and I fear thpt we 
may experience some ill usage from them; — but the Khalifeh 
said. We must enter, and I would that you devise some 
stratagem by which we may obtain admission to the inmates. 
Ja'far therefore answered, I hear and obey: — and he ad- 
vanced, and knocked at the door; and when the portress 
came and opened the door, he said to her. My mistress, we 
are merchants from Tabariyeh,^ and have been in Baghdad 
ten days; we have brought with us merchandise, and taken 
lodgings in a Khan ; and a merchant invited us to an enter- 
tainment this night : accordingly, we went to his house, and 
he placed food before us, and we ate, and sat a while drink- 
ing together, after which he gave us leave to depart; and 
going out in the dark, and being strangers, we missed our 
way to the Khan : we trust, therefore in your generosity 
that you will admit us to pass the night in your house ; by 
doing which you will obtain a reward in heaven. — The 
portress, looking at them, and observing that they were in 
the garb of merchants, and that they bore an appearance of 
respectability, returned, and consulted her two companions ; 
and they said to her. Admit them: — so she returned, and 
opened to them the door. They said to her, Shall we enter 
with thy permission? She answered. Come in. The Kha- 
lifeh, therefore, entered, with Ja'far and Mesrur; and when 
the ladies saw them, they rose to them, and served them, say- 
ing. Welcome are our guests ; but we have a condition to im- 
pose upon you, that ye speak not of that which doth not 
concern you, lest ye hear that which will not please you. 
They answered, Good: — and when they had sat down to 
drink, the Khalifeh looked at the three mendicants, and 
was surprised at observing that each of them was blind of 

' Tiberias. 





the left eye; and he gazed upon the ladies, and was per- 
plexed and amazed at their fairness and beauty. And when 
the others proceeded to drink and converse, the ladies 
brought wine to the Khalifeh; but he said, I am a pilgrim; 
- — and drew back from them. Whereupon the portress 
spread before him an embroidered cloth, and placed upon 
it a China bottle, into which she poured some willow-flower- 
water, adding to it a lump of ice, and sweetening it with 
sugar, while the Khalifeh thanked her, and said within 
himself. To-morrow I must reward her for this kind action. 

The party continued their carousal, and, when the wine 
took effect upon them, the mistress of the house arose, and 
waited upon them; and afterwards, taking the hand of the 
cateress, said. Arise, O my sister, that we ihay fulfil our 
debt. She replied, Good. The portress then rose, and, 
after she had cleared the middle of the saloon, placed the 
mendicants at the further end, beyond the doors; after 
which, the ladies called to the porter, saying. How slight 
is thy friendship! thou art not a stranger, but one of the 
family. So the porter arose, and girded himself, and said, 
What would ye? — to which one of the ladies answered, 
Stand where thou art: — and presently the cateress said to 
him, Assist me: — and he saw two black bitches, with chains 
attached to their necks, and drew them to the middle of 
the saloon; whereupon the mistress of the house arose from 
her place, and tucked up her sleeve above her wrist, and, 
taking a whip, said to the porter, Bring to me one of them. 
Accordingly, he dragged one forward by the chain. The 
bitch whined, and shook her head at the lady; but the 
latter fell to beating her upon the head, notwithstanding 
her howling, until her arms were tired, when she threw the 
whip from her hand, and pressed the bitch to her bosom, 
and wiped away her tears, and kissed her head ; after which 
she said to the porter, Take her back and bring the other; 
— and he brought her, and she did to her as she had done to 
the first. At the sight of this, the mind of the Khalifeh 
was troubled, and his heart was contracted, and he winked 
to Ja'far that he should ask her the reason; but he replied 
by a sign, Speak not. 

The mistress of the house then looked towards the 


portress and said to her, Arise to perform what thou hast 
to do. She repHed, Good: — and the mistress of the house 
seated herself upon a couch of alabaster, overlaid with gold 
and silver, and said to the portress and the cateress, Now 
perform your parts. The portress then seated herself 
upon a couch by her; and the cateress, having entered a 
closet, brought out from it a bag of satin with green fringes, 
and, placing herself before the lady of the house, shook it] 
and took out from it a lute; and she tuned its strings, and 
sang to it these verses : — 

Restore to my eyelids the sleep which hath been ravished; and 

inform me of my reason, whither it hath fled. 
I discovered, when I took up my abode with love, that slumber 

had become an enemy to my eyes. 
They said, We saw thee to be one of the upright ; what, then, hath 

seduced thee? I answered, Seek the cause from his glance. 
Verily I excuse him for the shedding of my blood, admitting that 

I urged him to the deed by vexation. 
He cast his sun-like image upon the mirror of my mind, and its 

reflection kindled a flame in my vitals. 

When the portress had heard this song, she exclaimed, 
Allah approve thee ! — and she rent her clothes, and fell 
upon the floor in a swoon ; and when her bosom was thus 
uncovered, the Khali f eh saw upon her the marks of beating, 
as if from mikra'ahs'' and whips; at which he was greatly 
surprised. The cateress immediately arose, sprinkled water 
upon her face, and brought her another dress, which she put 
on. The Khalifeh then said to Ja'far, Seest thou not this 
woman, and the marks of beating upon her? I cannot keep 
silence respecting this affair, nor be at rest, until I know the 
truth of the history of this damsel, and that of these two 
bitches. But Ja'far replied, O our lord, they have made a 
covenant with us that we shall not speak excepting of that 
which concerneth us, lest we hear that which will not please 
us. — The cateress then took the lute again, and, placing it 
against her bosom, touched the chords with the ends of her 
fingers, and thus sang to it : — 

If of love we complain, what shall we say? Or consuming through 
desire, how can we escape? 

'' Pabn sticks. 


Or if we send a messenger to interpret for us, he cannot convey 

the lover's complaint. 
Or if we would be patient, short were our existence after the loss 

of those we love. 
Nought remaineth to us but grief and mourning, and tears stream- 
ing down our cheeks. 
O you who are absent from my sight, but constantly dwelling 

within my heart ! 
Have you kept your faith to an impassioned lover, who, while 

time endureth will never change ? 
Or, in absence have you forgotten that lover who, on your account, 

is wasting away ? 
When the day of judgment shall bring us together, I will beg of 

our Lord a protractive trial. 

On hearing these verses of the cateress, the portress again 
rent her clothes, and cried out, and fell upon the floor in a 
swoon; and the cateress, as before, put on her another 
dress, after she had sprinkled some water upon her face. 

The mendicants, when they witnessed this scene, said. 
Would that we had never entered this house, but rather had 
passed the night upon the [rubbish-]mounds ; for our night 
hath been rendered foul by an event that breaketh the back ! 
The Khalifeh, looking towards them, then said, Wherefore 
is it so with you? They answered, Our hearts are troubled 
by this occurrence. — Are ye not, he asked, of this house? — 
No, they answered; nor did we imagine that this house 
belonged to any but the man who is sitting with you: — upon 
which the porter said. Verily, I have never seen this place 
before this night; and I would that I had passed the night 
upon the mounds rather than here. They then observ^ed, 
one to another, We are seven men, and they are but three 
women; we will, therefore, ask them of their history; and 
if they answer us not willingly they shall do it in spite of 
themselves: — and they all agreed to this, excepting Ja'far, 
who said, This is not a right determination ; leave them to 
themselves, for we are their guests, and they made a covenant 
with us which we should fulfil: there remaineth but little of 
the night, and each of us shall soon go his way. Then, 
winking to the Khalifeh, he said, There remaineth but an 
hour; and to-morrow we will bring them before thee, and 
thou shalt ask them their story. But the Khalifeh refused 
to do so, and .said, I have not patience to wait so long for 


their history. — Words followed words, and at last they said, 
Who shall put the question to them ? — and one answered, 
The porter. 

The ladies then said to them, O people, of what are ye 
talking? — whereupon the porter approached the mistress of 
the house, and said to her, O my mistress, I ask thee, and 
conjure thee by Allah, to tell us the story of the two bitches, 
and for what reason thou didst beat them, and then didst 
weep, and kiss them, and that thou acquaint us with the 
cause of thy sister's having been beaten w^ith mikra'ahs: 
that is our question, and peace be on you. — Is this true that 
he saith of you? inquired the lady, of the other men; and 
they all answered, Yes, — excepting Ja'far, who was silent. 
When the lady heard their answer, she said, Verily, O our 
guests, ye have wronged us excessively; for we made a 
covenant with you beforehand, that he who should speak of 
that which concerned him not should hear that which would 
not please him. Is it not enough that we have admitted you 
into our house, and fed you with our provisions? But it is 
not so much your fault as the fault of her who introduced 
you to us. — She then tucked up her sleeve above her wrist, 
and struck the floor three times, saying. Come ye quickly ! — 
and immediately the door of a closet opened, and there 
came forth from it seven black slaves, each having in his 
hand a drawn sword. The lady said to them. Tie behind 
them the hands of these men of many words, and bind each of 
them to another : — and they did so, and said, O virtuous lady, 
dost thou permit us to strike off their heads ? She answered, 
Give them a short respite, until I shall have inquired of them 
their histories, before ye behead them. — By Allah, O my 
mistress, exclaimed the porter, kill me not for the offence 
of others: for they have all transgressed and committed an 
offence, excepting me. Verily our night had been pleasant 
if we had been preserved from these mendicants, whose 
presence is enough to convert a w'ell-peopled city into a 
heap of ruins ! — He then repeated this couplet : — 

How good is it to pardon one able to resist ! and how much more 

so, one who is helpless ! 
For the sake of the friendship that subsisted between us, destroy 

not one for the crime of another ! 


On hearing these words of the porter, the lady laughed after 
her anger. Then approaching the men, she said. Acquaint 
me with your histories, for there reniaineth of your Hves no 
more than an hour. Were ye not persons of honourable and 
high condition, or governors, I would hasten your recom- 
pense.— The Klialifeh said to Ja'far, Woe to thee, O Ja'far! 
make known to her who we are; otherwise she will kill us. 
— It were what we deserve, replied he. — Jesting, said the 
Khalifeh, is not befitting in a time for seriousness: each has 
its proper occasion. — The lady then approached the mendi- 
cants, and said to them. Are ye brothers? They answered. 
No, indeed; we are only poor foreigners. She said then 
to one of them, Wast thou born blind of one eye? — No, 
verily, he answered; but a wonderful event happened to me 
when my eye was destroyed, and the story of it, if engraved 
on the understanding, would serve as a lesson to him who 
would be admonished. She asked the second and the third 
also; and they answered her as the first; adding. Each of 
us is from a different country, and our history is wonderful 
and extraordinary. The lady then looked towards them 
and said, Each of you shall relate his story, and the cause 
of his coming to our abode, and then stroke his head, and 
go his way. 

The first who advanced was the porter, who said, O my 
mistress, I am a porter; and this cateress loaded me, and 
brought me hither, and what hath happened to me here in 
your company ye know. This is my story ; and peace be 
on you. — Stroke thy head, then, said she, and go: — but he 
replied, By Allah, I will not go until I shall have heard the 
story of my companions. — The first mendicant then advanced, 
and related as follows : — 

The Story of the First Royal Mendicant 

Know, O my mistress, that the cause of my having shaved 
my beard, and of the loss of my eye, was this: — My father 
was a King, and he had a brother who was also a King, and 
who resided in another capital. It happened that my mother 
gave birth to me on the same day on which the son of my 
uncle was born; and years and days passed away until we 


attained to manhood. Now, it was my custom, some years, 
to visit my uncle, and to remain with him several months; 
and on one of these occasions my cousin paid me great 
honour; he slaughtered sheep for me, and strained the wine 
for me, and we sat' down to drink ; and when the wine had 
affected us, he said to me, O son of my uncle, I have need 
of thine assistance in an affair of interest to me, and I beg 
that thou wilt not oppose me in that which I desire to do. I 
replied, I am altogether at thy service: — and he made me 
swear to him by great oaths, and, rising immediately, absented 
himself for a little while, and then returned, followed by a 
woman decked with ornaments, and perfumed, and wear- 
ing a dress of extraordinary value. He looked towards 
me, while the woman stood behind him, and said, Take this 
woman, and go before me to the burial-ground which is 
in such a place: — and he described it to me, and I knew 
it. He then added, Enter the burial-ground, and there wait 
for me. 

I could not oppose him, nor refuse to comply with his re- 
quest, on account of the oaths which I had sworn to him ; so 
I took the woman, and went with her to the burial-ground; 
and when we had sat there a short time, my cousin came, 
bearing a basin of water, and a bag containing some plaster, 
and a small adze. Going to a tomb in the midst of the burial- 
ground, he took the adze, and disunited the stones, which he 
placed on one side ; he then dug up the earth with the adze, 
and uncovered a flat stone, of the size of a small door, under 
which there appeared a vaulted staircase. Having done this, 
he made a sign to the woman, and said to her. Do according 
to thy choice : — whereupon she descended the stairs. He then 
looked towards me, and said, O son of my uncle, complete thy 
kindness when I have descended into this place, by replacing 
the trap-door and the earth above it as they were before: 
then, this plaster which is in the bag, and this water which 
is in the basin, do thou knead together, and plaster the stones 
of the tomb as they were, so that no man may know it, and 
say, This hath been lately opened, but its interior is old: — for, 
during the space of a whole year I have been preparing this, 
and no one knew it but God : this is what I would have thee 
do. He then said to me. May God never deprive thy friends 


of thy presence, O son of my uncle ! — and, having uttered 
these words, he descended the stairs. 

When he had disappeared from before my eyes, I replaced 
the trap-door, and busied myself with doing as he had ordered 
me, until the tomb was restored to the state in which it was 
at first; after which I returned to the palace of my uncle, who 
was then absent on a hunting excursion. I slept that night, 
and when the morning came, I reflected upon what had oc- 
curred between me and my cousin, and repented of what I 
had done for him, when repentance was of no avail. I then 
went out to the burial-ground, and searched for the tomb ; but 
could not discover it. I ceased not in my search until the 
approach of night ; and, not finding the way to it, returned 
again to the palace ; and I neither ate nor drank ; my heart 
was troubled respecting my cousin, since I knew not what had 
become of him; and I fell into excessive grief. I passed the 
night sorrowful until the morning, and went again to the 
burial-ground, reflecting upon the action of my cousin, and 
repenting of my compliance with his request ; and I searched 
among all the tombs ; but discovered not that for which I 
looked. Thus I persevered in my search seven days without 

My trouble continued and increased until I was almost 
mad; and I found no relief but in departing, and returning 
to my father ; but on my arrival at his capital, a party at 
the city-gate sprang upon me and bound me. I was struck 
with the utmost astonishment, considering that I was the son 
of the Sultan of the city, and that these were the servants of 
my father and of myself: excessive fear of them overcame 
me, and I said witliin myself. What hath happened to my 
father? I asked, of those who had bound me, the cause of 
this conduct ; but they returned me no answer, till after a 
while, when one of them, who had been my servant, said to 
me. Fortune hath betrayed thy father, the troops have been 
false to him, and the Wezir hath killed him; and we were 
lying in wait to take thee. — They took me, and I was as one 
dead, by reason of this news which I had heard respecting 
my father; and I stood before the Wezir who had killed my 

Now, there was an old enmity subsisting between me and 


him ; and the cause of it was this : — I was fond of shooting 
with the crossbow ; and it happened, one day, that as I was 
standing on the roof of my palace, a bird alighted on the 
roof of the palace of the Wezir, who was standing there at 
the time, and I aimed at the bird ; but the bullet missed it, and 
struck the eye of the Wezir, and knocked it out, in accordance 
with the appointment of fate and destiny, as the poet hath 
said: — 

We trod the steps appointed for us : and the man whose steps are 

appointed must tread them. 
He whose death is decreed to take place in one land will not die 

in any land but that. 

When I had thus put out the eye of the Wezir, he could say 
nothing, because my father was King of the city. This was 
the cause of the enmity between him and me : and when I 
stood before him, with my hands bound behind me, he gave 
the order to strike off my head. I said to him, Wouldst thou 
kill me for no offence ? — What offence, he exclaimed, could be 
greater than this? — and he pointed to the place of the eye 
which was put out. I did that, said I, unintentionally. He 
replied, If thou didst it unintentionally, I will do the same 
to thee purposely: — and immediately he said, Bring him for- 
ward to me : — and, when they had done so, he thrust his 
finger into my left eye, and pulled it out. Thus I became 
deprived of one eye, as ye see me. He then bound me firmly, 
and placed me in a chest, and said to the executioner, Take 
this fellow, and draw thy sword, and convey him without 
the city; then put him to death, and let the wild beasts devour 

Accordingly, he went forth with me from the city, and, 
having taken me out from the chest, bound hand and foot, 
was about to bandage my eye, and kill me ; whereupon I wept, 
and exclaimed, — 

How many brothers have I taken as armour ! and such they were ; 

but to guard my enemies. 
I thought they would be as piercing arrows : and such they were ; 

but to enter my heart I 

The executioner, who had served my father in the same 
capacity, and to whom I had shewn kindnesses, said, on 
hearing these verses, O my master, what can I do, being a 


slave under command? — but presently he added. Depart with 
tliy life, and return not to this country, lest thou perish, and 
cause me to perish with thee. The poet saith, — 

Flee with thy life if thou fearest oppression, and leave the house to 

tell its builder's fate. 
Thou wilt find, for the land that thou quittest, another : but no 

soul wilt thou find to replace thine own. 

As soon as he had thus said, I kissed his hands, and be- 
lieved not in my safety until I had fled from his presence. 
The loss of my eye appeared light to me vv^hen I considered 
my escape from death; and I journeyed to my uncle's capital, 
and, presenting myself before him, informed him of what had 
befallen my father, and of the manner in which I had lost 
my eye : upon which he wept bitterly, and said, Thou hast 
added to my trouble and my grief ; for thy cousin hath been 
lost for some days, and I know not what hath happened to 
him, nor can any one give me information respecting him. 
Then he wept again, until he became insensible; and when 
he recovered, he said, O my son, the loss of thine eye is better 
than the loss of thy life. 

Upon this I could no longer keep silence respecting his 
son, my cousin; so I informed him of all that happened to 
him; and on hearing this news he rejoiced exceedingly, and 
said, Shew me the tomb. — By Allah, O my uncle, I replied, 
I know not where it is ; for I went afterwards several times 
to search for it, and could not recognize its place. We, how- 
ever, went together to the burial-ground, and, looking to the 
right and left, I discovered it; and both I and my uncle re- 
joiced. I then entered the tomb with him, and when we had 
removed the earth, and lifted up the trap-door, we descended 
fifty steps, and, arriving at the bottom of the stairs, there 
issued forth upon us a smoke which blinded our eyes; where- 
upon my uncle pronounced those words which relieve from 
fear him who uttereth them, — There is no strength nor power 
but in God, the High, the Great ! — After this, we proceeded, 
and found ourselves in a saloon, filled with flour and grain, 
and various eatables; and we saw there a curtain suspended 
over a couch, upon which my uncle looked, and found there 
his son and the woman who had descended with him, lying 


side by side, and converted into black charcoal, as if they had 
been thrown into a pit of fire. And when he beheld this spec- 
tacle, he spat in his son's face, and exclaimed, This is what 
thou deservest, O thou wretch ! This is the punishment of 
the present world, and there remaineth the punishment of the 
other world, which will be more severe and lasting ! — and he 
struck him with his shoes. Astonished at this action, and 
grieved for my cousin, seeing him and the damsel thus con- 
verted into charcoal, I said, By Allah, O my uncle, moderate 
the trouble of thy heart, for my mind is perplexed by that 
which hath happened to thy son, and bj' thinking how it hath 
come to pass that he and the damsel are converted into black 
charcoal. Dost thou not deem it enough for him to be in this 
state, that thou beatest him with thy shoes? 

O son of my brother, he replied, this my son was, from his 
early years, inflamed with love for his [foster-] sister, and I 
used to forbid him from entertaining this passion for her, and 
to say within myself. They are now children, but when they 
grow older a base act will be committed by them : — and, in- 
deed, I heard that such had been the case, but I believed it 
not. I, however, reprimanded him severely, and said to him, 
Beware of so foul an action, which none before thee hath 
committed, nor will any commit after thee : otherwise we shall 
suffer disgrace and disparagement among the Kings until we 
die, and our history will spread abroad with the caravans : 
have a care for thyself that such an action proceed not from 
thee ; for I should be incensed against thee, and kill thee. I 
then separated him from her, and her from him : but the vile 
woman loved him excessively ; the Devil got possession of 
them both; and when my son saw that I had separated him, 
he secretly made this place beneath the earth, and, having 
conveyed hither the provisions which thou seest, took advan- 
tage of my inadvertence when I had gone out to hunt, and 
came hither: but the Truth (whose perfection be extolled, and 
whose name be exalted!) was jealously vigilant over them, 
and consumed them by fire ; and the punishment of the world 
to come will be more severe and lasting. — He then wept, and 
I wept with him ; and he said to me, Thou art my son in his 
stead. — I remained a while reflecting upon the v/orld and its 
vicissitudes, upon the murder of my father by the \\'ezir, and 


his usurping his throne, and the loss of my eye, and the strange 
events which had happened to my cousin, and I wept again. 

We then ascended, and, having replaced the trap-door and 
the earth above it, and restored the tomb to its former state, 
returned to our abode ; but scarcely had we seated ourselves 
when we heard the sounds of drums and trumpets, warriors 
galloped about, and the air was filled with dust raised by the 
horses' hoofs. Our minds were perplexed, not knowing what 
had happened, and the King, asking the news, was answered. 
The Wezir of thy brother hath slain him and his soldiers 
and guards, and come with his army to assault the city un- 
awares; and the inhabitants, being unable to withstand, have 
submitted to him: — whereupon I said within myself, If I fall 
into his hand, he will slay me. — Griefs overwhelmed me, and I 
thought of the calamities which had befallen my father and 
my mother, and knew not what to do; for if I appeared, the 
people of the city would know me, and the troops of my father 
would hasten to kill and destroy me. I knew no way of es- 
cape but to shave off my beard; so I shaved it, and, having 
changed my clothes, departed from the city, and came hither, 
to this abode of peace, in the hope that some person would 
introduce me to the Prince of the Faithful, the Khalifeh of the 
Lord of all creatures, that I might relate to him my story, and 
all that had befallen me. I arrived in this city this night ; and 
as I stood perplexed, not knowing whither to direct my steps, 
I saw this mendicant, and saluted him, and said, I am a 
stranger. He replied, And I, too, am a stranger: — and while 
we were thus addressing each other, our companion, this third 
person, came up to us, and, saluting us, said, I am a stranger. 
We replied. And we, also, are strangers. So we walked on 
together, and darkness overtook us, and destiny directed us 
unto your abode : — This was the cause of the shaving of my 
beard, and of the loss of my eye. 

The lady then said to him. Stroke thy head, and depart ; — • 
but he replied, I will not depart until I have heard the stories 
of the others. And they wondered at his tale; and the 
Khalifeh said to Ja'far, Verily I have never known the like of 
that which hath happened to this mendicant. 

The second mendicant then advanced, and, having kissed 
the ground, said, — 


The Story of the Second Royal ]\Iendicant 

MY mistress, I was not born with only one eye ; but my 
story is wonderful, and, if written, would serve as a lesson 
to him who would be admonished. I am a King, and son 
of a King: I read the Kur'an according to the seven readings, 
and perused various works under the tuition of different 
learned professors of their subjects: I studied the science of 
the stars, and the writings of the poets, and made myself 
a proficient in all the sciences ; so that I surpassed the people 
of my age. My hand- writing was extolled among all the 
scribes, my fame spread among all countries, and my history 
among all Kings; and the King of India, hearing of me, 
requested my father to allow me to visit him, sending him 
various gifts and curious presents, such as were suitable to 
Kings. My father, therefore, prepared for me six ships, and 
we proceeded by sea for the space of a whole month, after 
which we came to land ; and, having disembarked some horses 
which we had with us in the ship, we loaded ten camels with 
presents, and commenced our journey; but soon there ap- 
peared a cloud of dust, which rose and spread until it filled 
the air before us, and, after a while, cleared a little, and 
discovered to us, in the midst of it, sixty horsemen like fierce 
lions, whom we perceived to be Arab highwaymen ; and when 
they saw us, that we were a small company with ten loads 
of presents for the King of India, they galloped towards us, 
pointing their spears at us. We made signs to them with our 
fingers, and said, We are ambassadors to the honoured King 
of India; therefore do us no injury: — but they replied. We 
are not in his territories, nor under his government They 
slew certain of the young men, and the rest fled. I also fled, 
after I had received a severe wound; the Arabs being em- 
ployed, without further regard to us, in taking possession of 
the treasure and presents which we had with us. 

1 proceeded without knowing whither to direct my course, 
reduced from a mighty to an abject state, and journeyed till 
I arrived at the summit of a mountain, where I took shelter 
in a cavern until the next morning. I then resumed my 
journey, and arrived at a flourishing city: the winter, with its 


cold, had passed away, and the spring had come, with its 
flowers; and I rejoiced at my arrival there, being wearied 
with my journey, anxious and pallid. My condition being 
thus changed, I knew not whither to bend my steps; and, 
turning to a tailor sitting in his shop, I saluted him, and he 
returned my salutation, and welcomed me, and wished me 
joy, asking me the reason of my having come thither. I ac- 
quainted him, therefore, with what had befallen me from first 
to last, and he was grieved for me, and said, O young man, 
reveal not thy case, for I fear what the King of this city 
might do to thee, since he is the greatest of thy father's 
enemies, and hath a debt of blood against him. He then 
placed some food and drink before me, and we ate together, 
and I conversed with him till night, when he lodged me in a 
place by his shop, and brought me a bed and coverlet ; and, 
after I had remained with him three days, he said to me. Dost 
thou not know any trade by which to make gain? I an- 
swered, I am acquainted with the law, a student of sciences, 
a writer, and an arithmetician. — Thy occupation, he said, is 
profitless in our country: there is no one in our city ac- 
quainted with science or writing, but only with getting 
money. Verily, I replied, I know nothing but what I have 
told thee. — Gird thyself, then, said he, and take an axe and a 
rope, and cut firewood in the desert, and so obtain thy sub- 
sistence until God dispel thy affliction ; but acquaint no one 
with thy history, else they will kill thee. He then bought for 
me an axe and a rope, and sent me with a party of wood- 
cutters, giving them a charge respecting me. Accordingly, I 
went forth with them, and cut some wood, and brought back 
a load upon my head, and sold it for half a piece of gold, part 
of which I expended in food, laying by the remainder. 

Thus I continued for the space of a year, after which 
I went one day into the desert, according to my custom, 
to cut firewood ; and, finding there a tract with abundance 
of wood, I entered it, and came to a tree, around which 
I dug; and as I was removing the earth from its roots, 
the axe struck against a ring of brass ; and I cleared away 
the earth from it, and found that it was affixed to a trap- 
door of wood, which I imncdiately removed. Beneath it 
appeared a staircase, which I descended; and at the bottom 


of this I entered a door, and beheld a palace, strongly 
constructed, where I found a lady, like a pearl of high price, 
.whose aspect banished from the heart all anxiety and grief 
and affliction. At the sight of her I prostrated myself in 
adoration of her Creator for the fairness and beauty which 
He had displayed in her person; and she, looking towards 
me, said, Art thou a man or a Jinni ? I answered her, I 
am a man. — And who, she asked, hath brought thee to this 
place, in which I have lived five and twenty years without 
ever seeing a human being? — Her words sounded sweetly 
to me, and I answered her, O my mistress, God hath 
brought me to thy abode, and I hope will put an end to 
my anxiety and grief: — and I related to her my story from 
beginning to end. She was grieved at my case, and wept, 
and said, I also will acquaint thee with my story. Know 
tjiat I am the daughter of the King of the further parts of 
India, the lord of the Ebony Island. My father had married 
me to the son of my uncle ; but on the night of my bridal 
festivities, an 'Efrit named Jarjaris, the son of Rejmus, the 
son of Iblis, carried me off, and, soaring with me through 
the air, alighted in this place, to which he conveyed all 
things necessary for me, such as ornaments, and garments, 
and linen, and furniture, and food, and drink ; and once in 
every ten days he cometh to me, and spendeth a night here ; 
and he hath appointed with me, that, in case of my wanting 
any thing by night or day, I should touch with my hand 
these two lines which are inscribed upon the kubbeh, and 
as soon as I remove my hand I see him before me. Four 
days have now passed since he was last with me, and there 
remain, therefore, six days before he will come again ; wilt 
thou then remain with me five days, and depart one day 
before his visit? — I answered. Yes; — rejoicing at the pro- 
posal ; and she arose, and, taking me by the hand, con- 
ducted me through an arched door to a small and elegant 
bath, where I took off my clothes, while she seated herself 
upon a mattress. After this, she seated me by her side, 
and brought me some sherbet of sugar infused with musk, 
and handed it to me to drink : she then placed some food 
before me, and after we had eaten and conversed togetiier, 
she said to me. Sleep, and rest thyself; for thou are fatigued. 


I slept, O my mistress, and forgot all that had befallen 
me ; and when I awoke, I found her rubbing my feet ; upon 
which I called to her, and we sat down again and conversed 
awhile; and she said to me, By Allah, I was straitened in 
my heart, living here alone, without any person to talk with 
me, five and twenty years. Praise be to God who hath 
sent thee to me. — I thanked her for her kind expressions ; 
and love of her took possession of my heart, and my 
anxiety and grief fled away. We then sat down to drink 
together; and I remained by her side all the night, delighted 
w-ith her company, for I had never seen her like in my 
whole life ; and in the morning, when we were both full 
of joy, I said to her, Shall I take thee up from this sub- 
terranean place, and release thee from the Jinni? But she 
laughed, and replied. Be content, and hold thy peace ; for, 
of every ten days, one day shall be for the 'Efrit, and nine 
for thee. I persisted, however, being overcome with 
passion ; and said, I will this instant demolish this kubbeh 
upon which the inscription is engraved, and let the 'Efrit 
come, that I may slay him : for I am predestined to kill 
'Efrits. She entreated me to refrain ; but, paying no 
attention to her words, I kicked the kubbeh with violence ; 
upon which she exclaimed, The 'Efrit hath arrived ! Did 
I not caution thee against this? Verily thou hast brought 
a calamity upon me; but save thyself, and ascend by the 
way that thou camest. 

In the excess of my fear I forgot my sandals and my 
axe, and when I had ascended two steps, turning round to 
look for them, I saw that the ground had opened, and there 
rose from it an 'Efrit of hideous aspect, who said. Where- 
fore is this disturbance with which thou hast alarmed me, 
and what misfortune hath befallen thee? She answered, 
No misfortune hath happened to me, excepting that my 
heart was contracted, and I desired to drink some wine to 
dilate it, and, rising to perform my purpose, I fell against 
the kubbeh. — Thou liest, vile woman, he exclaimed; — and, 
looking about the palace to the right and left, he saw the 
sandals and axe; and said to her. These are the property 
of none but a man. Who hath visited thee? — I have not 
seen them, she answered, until this instant: probably they 


caught to thee. — This language, said he, is absurd, and will 
have no effect upon me, thou shameless woman ! — and, so 
saying, he stripped her of her clothing, and tied her down, 
with her arms and legs extended, to four stakes, and began 
to beat her, urging her to confess what had happened. 

For myself, being unable to endure her cries, I ascended 
the stairs, overpowered by fear, and, arriving at the top, 
replaced the trap-door as it was at first, and covered it over 
with earth. I repented bitterly of what I had done, and 
reflecting upon the lady and her beauty, and how this wretch 
was torturing her after she had lived with him five and 
twenty years, and that he tortured her only on my account, 
and reflecting also upon my father and his kingdom, and 
how I had been reduced to the condition of a wood-cutter, 
I repeated this verse : — 

When fortune bringeth thee affliction, console thyself by remember- 
ing that one day thou must see prosperity, and another day, 

Returning to my companion, the tailor, I found him await- 
ing my return as if he were placed in a pan upon burning 
coals. I passed last night, said he, with anxious heart on thy 
account, fearing for thee from some wild beast or other 
calamity. Praise be to God for thy safe return. — I thanked 
him for his tender concern for me, and entered my apart- 
ment; and as I sat meditating upon that which had befallen 
me, and blaming myself for having kicked the kubbeh, my 
friend the tailor came in to me, and said. In the shop is a 
foreigner, who asks for thee, and he has thy axe and sandals ; 
he came with them to the wood-cutters, and said to them, 
I went out at the time of the call of the Mu'eddin to morn- 
ing-prayer, and stumbled upon these, and know not to whom 
they belong: can ye guide me to their owner? — The wood- 
cutters, therefore, directed him to thee : he is sitting in my 
shop; so go out to him and thank him, and take thy axe 
and thy sandals. — On hearing these words, my countenance 
turned pale, and my whole state became changed ; and while 
I was in this condition, the floor of ray chamber clove 
asunder, and there rose from it the stranger, and lo, he was 
the 'Efrit; he had tortured the lady with the utmost cruelty; 


but she would confess nothing: so he took the axe and the 
sandals, and said to her, If I am Jarjaris, of the descendants 
of IbHs, I will bring the owner of this axe and these sandals. 
Accordingly, he came, with the pretence before mentioned, 
to the wood-cutters, and, having entered my chamber with- 
out granting me any delay, seized me, and soared with 
me through the air : he then descended, and dived into 
the earth, and brought me up into the place where I was 

Here I beheld the lady stripped of her clothing, and 
with blood flowing from her sides; and tears trickled from 
my eyes. The 'Efrit then took hold of her, and said, Vile 
woman, this is thy lover: — whereupon she looked at me, 
and replied, I know him not, nor have I ever seen him until 
this instant. The 'Efrit said to her. With all this torture 
wilt thou not confess? She answered. Never in my life have 
I seen him before, and it is not lawful in the sight of God 
that I should speak falsely against him. — Then, said he, if 
thou know him not, take this sword and strike ofif his head. 
She took the sword, and came to me, and stood over my 
head: but I made a sign to her with my eyebrow, while 
tears ran down my cheeks. She replied in a similar manner, 
Thou art he who hath done all this to me : — I made a sign 
to her, however, that this was a time for pardon, conveying 
my meaning in the manner thus described by the poet : — 

Our signal in love is the glance of our eyes ; and every intelligent 

person understandeth the sign. 
Our eyebrows carry on an intercourse between us : we are silent ; 

but love speaketh. 

And when she understood me, she threw the sword from 
her hand, O my mistress, and the 'Efrit handed it to me, 
saying. Strike off her head, and I will liberate thee, and do 
thee no harm. I replied, Good: — and, quickly approaching 
her, raised my hand; but she made a sign as though she 
would say, I did no injury to thee: — whereupon my eyes 
poured with tears, and, throwing down the sword, I said, 

mighty 'Efrit, and valiant hero, if a woman, deficient in 
sense and religion, seeth it not lawful to strike off my head, 
how is it lawful for me to do so to her, and especially when 

1 have never seen her before in my life? I will never do it, 


though I should drink the cup of death and destruction. — 
There is affection between you, said the 'Efrit, and, taking 
the sword, he struck off one of the hands of the lady; then, 
the other; after this, her right foot; and then, her left foot: 
thus with four blows he cut off her four extremities, while I 
looked on, expecting my own death. She then made a sign 
to me with her eye ; and the 'Efrit, observing her, exclaimed, 
Now thou hast been guilty of incontinence with thine eye ! 
— and, with a blow of his sword, struck off her head; after 
which, he turned towards me, and said, O man, it is allowed 
us by our law, if a wife be guilty of incontinence, to put her 
to death. This woman I carried off on her wedding-night, 
when she was twelve years of age, and she was acquainted 
with no man but me; and I used to pass one night with her 
in the course of every ten days in the garb of a foreigner ; 
and when I discovered of a certainty that she had been un- 
faithful to me, I killed her: but as for thee, I am not con- 
vinced that thou hast wronged me with respect to her; yet 
I must not leave thee unpunished: choose, therefore, what 
injury I shall do to thee. 

Upon this, O my mistress, I rejoiced exceedingly, and, 
eager to obtain his pardon, I said to him. What shall I 
choose from thy hands? — Choose he answered, into what 
form I shall change thee; either the form of a dog. or that 
of an ass, or that of an ape. I replied, in my desire of 
forgiveness. Verily, if thou wilt pardon me, God will pardon 
thee in recompense for thy shewing mercy to a Muslim who 
hath done thee no injury: — and I humbled myself in the 
most abject manner, and said to him, Pardon me as the 
envied man did the envier. — And how was that? said he. 
I answered as follows : — 

The Story of the Envier and the Envied 

Know, O my master, that there was a certain man who 
had a neighbour that envied him ; and the more this person 
envied him, so much the more did God increase the pros- 
perity of the former. Thus it continued a long time ; but 
when the envied man found that his neighbour persisted 
in troubling him, he removed to a place where there was a 


deserted well ; and there he built for himself an oratory, and 
occupied himself in the worship of God. Numerous Fakirs' 
assembled around him, and he acquired great esteem, people 
repairing to him from every quarter, placing firm reliance 
upon his sanctity ; and his fame reached the ears of his 
envious neighbour, who mounted his horse, and went to 
visit him ; and when the envied man saw him, he saluted 
him, and payed him the utmost civility. The envier then 
said to him, I have come hither to inform thee of a matter 
in which thou wilt find advantage, and for which I shall 
obtain a recompense in heaven. The envied man replied, 
May God requite thee for me with every blessing. Then, 
said the envier, order the Fakirs to retire to their cells, for 
the information that I am about to give thee I would have 
no one overhear. So he ordered them to enter their cells; 
and the envier said to him. Arise, and let us walk together, 
and converse ; and they walked on until they came to the 
deserted well before mentioned, when the envier pushed 
the envied man into this well, without the knowledge of 
any one, and went his way, imagining that he had killed 

But this well was inhabited by Jinn, who received him 
unhurt, and seated him upon a large stone ; and when they 
had done this, one of them said to the others. Do ye know 
this man? They answered, We know him not. — This, said 
he, is the envied man who fled from him who envied him, 
and took up his abode in this quarter, in the neighbouring 
oratory, and who entertaineth us by his zikr^ and his read- 
ings ; and when his envier heard of him, he came hither to 
him, and, devising a stratagem against him, threw him down 
here. His fame hath this night reached the Sultan of this 
city, who hath purposed to visit him to-morrow, on account 
of the affliction which hath befallen his daughter. — And 
what, said they, hath happened to his daughter? He 
answered, Madness ; for Meymun, the son of Demdem, 
hath become inflamed with love for her; and her cure is 
the easiest of things. They asked him. What is it? — and 

2 Poor persons who especially occupy themselves in religious exercises. _ 
' Zikrs consist in repeating the name of God, or the profession of his 

unity, etc., in chorus, accompanying the words by certain motions of the ' 

head, hands, or whole body. 


he answered, The black cat that is with him in the oratory- 
hath at the end of her tail a white spot, of the size of a 
piece of silver; and from this white spot should be taken 
seven hairs, and with these the damsel should be fumigated, 
and the Marid would depart from over her head, and not 
return to her; so she would be instantly cured. And now 
it is our duty to take him out. 

When the morning came, the Fakirs saw the sheykh 
rising out of the well ; and he became magnified in their 
eyes. And when he entered the oratory, he took from the 
white spot at the end of the cat's tail seven hairs, and placed 
them in a portfolio by him ; and at sunrise the King came 
to him, and when the sheykh saw him, he said to him, O 
King, thou hast come to visit me in order that I may cure 
thy daughter. The King replied, Yes, O virtuous Sheykh. — 
Then, said the sheykh, send some person to bring her 
hither; and I trust in God, whose name be exalted, that 
she may be instantly cured. And when the King had 
brought his daughter, the sheykh beheld her bound, and, 
seating her, suspended a curtain over her, and took out the 
hairs, and fumigated her with them; whereupon the Marid 
cried out from over her head, and left her; and the damsel 
immediately recovered her reason, and, veiling her face, 
said to her father, What is this, and wherefore didst thou 
bring me to this place? He answered her. Thou hast 
nothing to fear; — and rejoiced greatly. He kissed the 
hand of the envied sheykh, and said to the great men of 
his court who were with him. What shall be the recompense 
of this sheykh for that which he hath done ? They answered, 
His recompense should be that thou marry him to her. — 
Ye have spoken truly, said the King: — and he gave her in 
marriage to him, and thus the sheykh became a connection 
of the King; and after some days the King died, and he 
was made King in his place. 

And it happened one day that this envied King was 
riding with his troops, and he saw his envier approaching; 
and when this man came before him he seated him upon a 
horse with high distinction and honour, and, taking him to 
his palace, gave him a thousand pieces of gold, and a costly 
dress; after which he sent him back from the city, with 


attendants to escort him to his house, and reproached him 
for nothing. — Consider, then, O 'Efrit, the pardon of the 
envied to the envier, and his kindness to him, notwithstand- 
ing the injuries he had done him. — 

The 'Efrit, when he had heard this story, repHcd, 
Lengthen not thy words to me: as to my killing thee, fear 
it not; and as to my pardoning thee, covet it not; but as 
to my enchanting thee, there is no escape from it; — and, 
so saying, he clove the earth asunder, and soared with me 
through the sky to such a height that I beheld the world 
beneath me as though it were a bowl of water; then, alighting 
upon a mountain, he took up a little dust, and, having 
muttered and pronounced certain words over it, sprinkled 
me with it, saying. Quit this form, and take the form of an 
ape ! — whereupon I became like an ape of a hundred years 
of age. 

When I saw myself changed into this ugly form, I wept 
for myself, but determined to be patient under the tyranny 
of fortune, knowing it to be constant to no one. I de- 
scended from the summit of the mountain, and, after having 
journeyed for the space of a month, arrived at the sea- 
shore; and, when I had stood there a short time, I saw a 
vessel in the midst of the sea, with a favourable wind ap- 
proaching the land; I therefore hid myself behind a rock 
on the beach, and when the ship came close up, I sprang 
into the midst of it. But as soon as the persons on board 
saw me, one of them cried. Turn out this unlucky brute 
from the ship: — another said. Let us kill him: — and a third 
exclaimed, I will kill him with this sword. I, however, 
caught hold of the end of the sword, and tears flowed from 
my eyes; at the sight of which the captain took compassion 
on me, and said to the passengers, O merchants, this ape 
hath sought my aid, and I give it him; he is under my 
protection; let no one, therefore, oppose or trouble him. 
He then treated me with kindness, and whatever he said 
to me I understood, and all that he required to be done 
I performed as his servant. 

We continued our voyage for fifty days with a fair wind, 
and cast anchor under a large city containing a population 


which no one but God, whose name be exalted, could 
reckon ; and when we had moored our vessel, there came 
to us some memluks from the King of the city, w-ho came 
on board the ship, and complimented the merchants on 
their safe arrival, saying, Our King greeteth you, rejoicing 
in your safety, and hath sent to you this roll of paper, de- 
siring that each of you shall write a line upon it; for the 
King had a Wezir who was an eminent calligraphist, and he 
is dead, and the King hath sworn that he will not appoint 
any person to his office who cannot write equally well. 
Though in the form of an ape, I arose and snatched the 
paper from their hands ; upon which, fearing that I would 
tear it and throw it into the sea, they cried out against me, 
and would have killed me; but I made signs to them that 
I would write, and the captain said to them, Suffer him to 
write, and if he scribble we will turn him away; but if he 
write well I will adopt him as my son ; for I have never 
seen a more intelligent ape. So I took the pen, and de- 
manded tjie ink, and wrote in an epistolary hand this 
couplet : — 

Fame hath recorded the virtues of the noble ; but no one hath 

been able to reckon thine. 
May God not deprive mankind of such a father ; for thou art the 

parent of every excellence. 

Then, in a more formal, large hand, I wrote the following 
verses : — 

There is no writer that shall not perish ; but what his hand hath 

written endureth ever. 
Write, therefore, nothing but what will please thee when thou 

shalt see it on the day of resurrection. 

Two other specimens I wrote, in two dift'erent and smaller 
hands, and returned the paper to the memluks, who took it 
back to the King; and when he saw what was written upon 
it, the hand of no one pleased him excepting mine; and he 
said to his attendants, Go to the author of this hand-writing, 
put upon him this dress, and mount him upon a mule, and 
conduct him, with the band of music before him, to my 
presence. On hearing this order, they smiled : and the 
King was angry with them, and said, How is it that I give 


you an order, and ye laugh at me ? They answered, O King, 
we laugh not at thy words, but because he who wrote this 
is an ape, and not a son of Adam: he is with the captain 
of the ship newly arrived. 

The King was astonished at their words ; he shook with 
delight, and said, I would purchase this ape. He then sent 
some messengers to the ship, with the mule and the dress 
of honour, saying to them, Ye must clothe him with this 
dress, and mount him upon the mule, and bring him hither. 
So they came to the ship, and, taking me from the captain, 
clad me with the dress ; and the people were astonished, 
and flocked to amuse themselves with the sight of me. And 
.when they brought me to the King, and I beheld him, I 
kissed the ground before him three times, and he ordered 
me to sit down : so I sat down upon my knees ; and the 
persons present were surprised at my polite manners, and 
especially the King, who presently ordered his people to 
retire. They, therefore, did so; none remaining but the 
King, and a eunuch, and a young memluk, and myself. 
The King then commandc4 that a repast should be brought ; 
and they placed before him a service of viands, such as 
gratified the appetite and delighted the eye; and the King 
made a sign to me that I should eat; whereupon I arose, 
and, having kissed the ground before him seven times, sat 
down to eat with him ; and when the table was removed, I 
washed my hands, and, taking the ink-case, and pen and 
paper, I wrote these two verses : — 

Great is my appetite for thee, O Kunafeh !' I cannot be happy 

nor endure without thee. 
Be thou every day and night my food; and may drops of honey 

not be wanting to moisten thee. 

Having done this, I arose, and seated myself at a distance; 
and the King, looking at what I had written, read it with 
astonishment, and exclaimed, Can an ape possess such 
fluency and such skill in calligraphy? This is, indeed, a 
wonder of wonders ! — Afterwards, a chess-table was brought 
to the King, and he said to me, Wilt thou play? By a 
motion of my head I answered. Yes: — and I advanced, and 

' A kind of pastry resembling vermicelli, made of wheat-flour. It is 
moistened with clarified butler — then baked, and sweetened 'with honey or 


arranged the pieces. I played with him twice, and beat 
Him; and the King was perplexed, and said. Were this a 
man, he would surpass all the people of his age. 

He then said to his eunuch, Go to thy mistress, and say 
to her. Answer the summons of the King: — that she may 
come and gratify her curiosity by the sight of this wonderful 
ape. The eunuch, therefore,, went, and returned with his 
mistress, the King's daughter, who, as soon as she s?w me, 
veiled her face, and said, O my father, how is it that thou 
art pleased to send for me and suffer strange men to see 
me? — O my daughter, answered the King, there is no one 
here but the young memluk, and the eunuch who brought 
thee up, and this ape, with myself, thy father: from whom, 
then, dost thou veil thy face? — This ape, said she, is the 
son of a King, and the name of his father is Eymar : he 
is enchanted, and it was the 'Efrit Jarjaris, a descendant of 
Iblis, who transformed him, after having slain his own wife, 
the daughter of King Aknamus. This, whom thou sup- 
posedst to be an ape, is a learned and wise man. — The 
King was amazed at his daughter's words, and, looking 
towards me, said. Is it true that she saith of thee? I 
answered, by a motion of my head. Yes : — and wept. The 
King then said to his daughter, By what means didst thou 
discover that he was enchanted ? — O my father, she answered, 
I had with me, in my younger years, an old woman who was 
a cunning enchantress, and she taught me the art of en- 
chantment: I have committed its rules to memory, and 
know it thoroughly, being acquainted with a hundred and 
seventy modes of performing it, by the least of which I 
could transport the stones of thy city beyond Ivlount Kaf, 
and make its site to be an abyss of the sea. and convert 
its inhabitants into fish in the midst of it. — I conjure thee, 
then, by the name of Allah, said her father, to restore this 
young man, that I may make him my W'ezir. Is it possible 
that thou possessedst this excellence, and I knew it not? 
Restore him, that I may make him my Wezir, for he is a 
polite and intelligent youth. 

She replied. With pleasure: — and, taking a knife upon 
which were engraved some Hebrew names, marked with it 
a circle in the midst of the palace. Within this she wrote 


certain names and talismans, and then she pronounced invo- 
cations, and uttered unintelligible words; and soon the 
palace around us became immersed in gloom to such a 
degree, that we thought the whole world was overspread; 
and lo, the 'Efrit appeared before us in a most hideous 
shape, w^ith hands like w^nnowing-forks, and legs like masts, 
and eyes like burning torches; so that we were terrified at 
him. The King's daughter exclaimed, No welcome to thee ! 
— to which the 'Efrit, assuming the form of a lion, replied, 
Thou traitress, how is it that thou hast broken thine oath? 
Did we not swear that we would not oppose one another? — 
Thou wretch, said she, when didst thou receive an oath? — 
The 'Efrit, still in the form of a lion, then exclaimed. Take 
what awaiteth thee ! — and, opening his mouth, rushed upon 
the lady; but she instantly plucked a hair from her head 
and muttered with her lips, w^hereupon the hair became 
converted into a piercing sword, with which she struck the 
lion, and he was cleft in twain by the blow; but his head 
became changed into a scorpion. The lady immediately 
transformed herself into an enormous serpent, and crept 
after the execrable wretch in the shape of a scorpion, and 
a sharp contest ensued between them; after which, the 
scorpion became an eagle, and the serpent, changing to a 
vulture, pursued the eagle for a length of time. The latter 
then transformed himself into a black cat, and the King's 
daughter became a wolf, and they fought together long and 
fiercely, till the cat, seeing himself overcome, changed him- 
self into a large red pomegranate, which fell into a pool; 
but, the wolf pursuing it, it ascended into the air, and then 
fell upon the pavement of the palace, and broke in pieces, 
its grains becoming scattered, each apart from the others, 
and all spread about the whole space of ground enclosed by 
the palace. The wolf, upon this, transformed itself into a 
cock, in order to pick up the grains, and not leave one of 
them ; but, according to the decree of fate, one grain re- 
mained hidden by the side of the pool of the fountain. 
The cock began to cry, and flapped its wings, and made a 
sign to us with its beak ; but we understood not what it 
would say. It then uttered at us such a cry, that we thought 
the palace had fallen down upon us; and it ran about the 


whole of the ground, until it saw the grain that had Iain hid 
by the side of the pool, when it pounced upon it, to pick it 
up; but it fell into the midst of the water, and became 
transformed into a fish, and sank into the water ; upon 
which the cock became a fish of a larger size, and plunged 
in after the other. For a while it was absent from our 
sight; but, at length, we heard a loud cry, and trembled at 
the sound ; after which, the 'Ef rit rose as a flame of fire, 
casting fire from his mouth, and fire and smoke from his 
eyes and nostrils: the King's daughter also became as a 
vast body of fire; and we would have plunged into the 
water from fear of our being burnt and destroyed; but sud- 
denly the 'Efrit cried out from within the fire, and came 
towards us upon the liwan," blowing fire at our faces. The 
lady, however, overtook him, and blew fire in like manner 
in his face ; and some sparks struck us both from her and 
from him: her sparks did us no harm; but one from him 
struck me in my eye, and destroyed it, I being still in the 
form of an ape; and a spark from him reached the face of 
the King, and burned the lower half, with his beard and 
mouth, and struck out his lower teeth : another spark also 
fell upon the breast of the eunuch; who was burnt, and 
died immediately. We expected destruction, and gave up 
all hope of preserving our lives ; but while we were in this 
state, a voice exclaimed, God is most great ! God is most 
great ! He hath conquered and aided, and abandoned the 
denier of the faith of Mohammad, the chief of mankind.'" 
— The person from whom this voice proceeded was the 
King's daughter : she had burnt the 'Ef rit ; and when we 
looked towards him, we perceived that he had become a 
heap of ashes. 

The lady then came to us, and said, Bring me a cup of 
water: — and when it was brought to her, she pronounced 
over it some words which we understood not, and, sprinkling 
me with it, said, Be restored, by virtue of the name of the 
Truth, and by virtue of the most great name of God, to thy 
original form ! — whereupon I became a man as I was at 
first, excepting that my eye was destroyed. After this, she 

» Dais. 

lOThis was, and I believe still is, a common battle-cry of the Arabs, and 
more commonly used on the occasion of a victory. 


cried out, The fire ! the fire ! O my father, I shall no longer 
live, for I am predestined to be killed. Had he been a 
human being, I had killed him at the first of the encounter. 
I experienced no difficulty till the scattering of the grains of 
the pomegranate, when I picked them up excepting the one 
in which was the life of the Jinni : had I picked up that, he 
had instantly died; but I saw it not, as fate ai:^:l destiny had 
appointed; and suddenly he came upon me, and a fierce 
contest ensued between us under the earth, and in the air, 
and in the water; and every time that he tried against me 
a new mode, I employed against him one more potent, until 
he tried against me the mode of fire; and rarely does one 
escape against whom the mode of fire is employed. Destiny, . 
however, aided me, so that I burned him first; but I ex-' 
hortod him previously to embrace the faith of El-Ialam. . 
Now I die ; and may God supply my place to you. — Having ' 
thus said, she ceased not to pray for relief from the fire; 
and lo, a spark ascended to her breast, and thence to her face ; 
and when it reached her face, she wept, and exclaimed, 
I testify that there is no deity but God, and I testify that 
Mohammad is God's Apostle ! — We then looked towards her, 
and saw that she had become a heap of ashes by the side 
of the ashes of the 'Efrit. 

We were plunged into grief on her account, and I wialied 
that I had been in her place rather than have seen that sweet- 
faced creature who had done me this kindness reduced to a 
heap of ashes: but the decree of God cannot be averted. 
The King, on beholding his daughter in this state, plucked 
out what remained of his beard, and slapped his face, and 
rent his clothes ; and I also did the same, while we both wept 
for her. Then came the chamberlains and other great 
officers of the court, who, finding the King in a state of in- 
sensibility, with two heaps of ashes before him, were aston- 
ished, and remained encompassing him until he recovered 
from his fit, when he informed them of what had befallen 
his daughter with the 'Efrit; and great was their affliction. 
The women shrieked, with the female slaves, and continued 
'itir mourning seven days. After this, the King gave orders 
build, over the ashes of his daughter, a great tomb with 
a dome, and illuminated it with candles and lamps: but the 


ashes of the 'Efrit they scattered in the wind, exposing them 
to the curse of God. The King then fell sick, and was near 
unto death : his illness lasted a month ; but after this he re- 
covered his health, and, summoning me to his presence, said 
to me, O young man, we passed our days in the enjoyment 
of the utmost happiness, secure from the vicissitudes of 
fortune, until thou camest to us, when troubles overcame us. 
Would that we had never seen thee, nor thy ugly form, on 
account of which we have been reduced to this state of pri- 
vation; for, in the first place, I have lost my daughter, who 
was worth a hundred men ; and, secondly, I have suffered this 
burning, and lost my teeth: my eunuch also is dead: but it 
was not in thy power to prevent these afflictions : the decree 
of God hath been fulfilled on us and on thee; and praise 
be to God that my daughter restored thee, though she de- 
stroyed herself. Now, however, depart, O my son, from 
my city. It is enough that hath happened on thy account; 
but as it was decreed against us and thee, depart in peace. 

So I departed, O my mistress, from his presence; but 
before I quitted the city, I entered a public bath, and shaved 
my beard. I traversed various regions, and passed through 
great cities, and bent my course to the Abode of Peace, 
Baghdad, in the hope of obtaining an interview with the 
Prince of the Faithful, that I might relate to him all that 
had befallen me. 

The third mendicant then advanced, and thus related his 
story : — 

The Story of the Third Roval Mexdicant 

ILLUSTRIOUS lady, my story is not like those of my two 
companions, but more wonderful : the course of fate and 
destiny brought upon them events against which they could 
not guard; but as to myself, the shaving of my beard end 
the loss of my eye were occasioned by my provoking fate 
and misfortune; and the cause was this: — 

1 was a King, and the son of a King; and when m> 
father died, I succeeded to his throne, and governed my 
subjects with justice and beneficence. I took pleasure in 
sea-voyages; and my capital was on the shore of an ex- 


tensive sea, interspersed with fortified and garrisoned islands, 
which I desired, for my amusement, to visit; I therefore 
embarked with a fleet of ten ships, and took with me pro- 
visions sufficient for a whole month. I proceeded twenty 
days, after which there arose against us a contrary wind; 
but at daybreak it ceased, and the sea became calm, and 
we arrived at an island, where we landed, and cooked some 
provisions and ate ; after which we remained there two days. 
We then continued our voyage ; and when twenty days more 
had passed, we found ourselves in strange waters, unknown 
to the captain, and desired the watch to look out from the 
mast-head: so he went aloft, and when he had come down 
he said to the captain, I saw, on my right hand, fish floating 
upon the surface of the water; and looking towards the 
midst of the sea, I perceived something looming in the 
distance, sometimes black and sometimes white. 

When the captain heard this report of the watch, he 
threw his turban on the deck, and plucked his beard, and 
said to those who were with him, Receive warning of our 
destruction, which will befall all of us : not one will escape ! 
So saying, he began to weep ; and all of us in like manner 
bewailed our lot. I desired him to inform us of that which 
the watch had seen. O my lord, he replied, know that we 
have wandered from our course since the commencement 
of the contrary wind that was followed in the morning by 
a calm, in consequence of which we remained stationary 
two days; from that period we have deviated from our 
course for twenty-one days, and we have no wind to carry 
us back from the fate which awaits us after this day: to- 
morrow we shall arrive at a mountain of black stone, called 
loadstone: the current is now bearing us violently towards 
it. and the ships will fall in pieces, and every nail in them 
will fly to the mountain, and adhere to it; for God hath given 
to the loadstone a secret property by virtue of which every- 
thing of iron is attracted toward it. On that mountain is 
such a quantity of iron as no one knowcth but God, whose 
name be exalted; for from times of old great numbers of 
ships have been destroyed by the influence of that mountain. 
There is, upon the summit of the mountain, a cupola of brass 
supported by ten columns, and upon the top of this cupola is 


a horseman upon a horse of brass, having in his hand a brazen 
spear, and upon his breast suspended a tablet of lead, upon 
which are engraved mysterious names and talismans; and as 
long, O King, as this horseman remains upon the horse, so 
long will every ship that approaches be destroyed, with 
every person on board, and all the iron contained in it will 
cleave to the mountain : no one will be safe until the horse- 
man shall have fallen from the horse. — The captain then 
wept bitterly; and we felt assured that our destruction was 
inevitable, and every one of us bade adieu to his friend. 

On the following morning we drew near to the mountain ; 
the current carried us toward it with violence, and when the 
ships were almost close to it, they fell asunder, and all the 
nails, and everything else that was of iron, flew from them 
towards the loadstone. It was near the close of day when 
the ships fell in pieces. Some of us were drowned, and 
some escaped; but the greater number were drowned, and 
of those who saved their lives none knew what became of 
the others, so stupefied "^^ere they by the waves and the 
boisterous wind. As for myself, O my mistress, God, whose 
name be exalted, spared me on account of the trouble and 
torment and affliction that He had predestined to befall me. 
I placed myself upon a plank, and the wind and waves cast 
it upon the mountain ; and when I had landed, I found a 
practicable way to the summit, resembling steps cut in the 
rock: so I^ exclaimed, In the name of God! — and offered 
up a prayer, and attempted the ascent, holding fast by the 
notches; and presently God stilled the wind and assisted 
me in my endeavours, so that I arrived in safety at the 
summit. Rejoicing greatly in my escape, I immediately en- 
tered the cupola, and performed the prayers of two rek'ahs" 
in gratitude to God for my preservation ; after which I slept 
beneath the cupola, and heard a voice saying to me. O son 
of Khasib, when thou awakest from thy sleep, dig beneath 
thy feet, and thou wilt find a bow of brass, and three arrows 
of lead, whereon are engraved talismans: then take the 

^1 [Bowings] : the repetition of a set form of words, cliicfiy from the 
Kur'an, and ejaculations of "God is most great!" etc., accompanied by 
particular postures; part of the words being repeated in an erect posture; 
jsart, sitting; and part, in other postures: an inclination of the head and 
body, followed by two prostrations, distinguishing each rck'ah. 



bow and arrows and shoot at the horseman that is upon the 
top of the cupola, and reheve mankind from this great afflic- 
tion ; for when thou hast shot at the horseman he will fall 
into the sea ; the bow will also fall, and do thou bury it 
in its place; and as soon as thou hast done this, the sea 
will swell and rise until it attains the summit of the moun- 
tain ; and there will appear upon it a boat bearing a man, 
different from him whom thou shalt have cast down, and 
he will come to thee, having an oar in his hand: then do 
thou embark with him; but utter not the name of God; 
and he will convey thee in ten days to a safe sea, where, on 
thy arrival, thou wilt find one who will take thee to thy 
city. All this shall be done if thou utter not the name of God. 

Awaking from my sleep, I sprang up, and did as the 
voice had directed. I shot at the horseman, and he fell into 
the sea; and the bow having fallen from my hand, I buried 
it: the sea then became troubled, and rose to the summit 
of the mountain, and when I had stood waiting there a little 
while, I beheld a boat in the midst of the sea, approaching 
me. I praised God, whose name be exalted, and when the 
boat came to me I found in it a man of brass, with a tablet 
of lead upon his breast, engraven with names and talismans. 
Without uttering a word, I embarked in the boat, and the 
man rowed me ten successive days, after which I beheld the 
islands of security, whereupon, in the excess of my joy, I 
exclaimed, In the name of God ! There is no deity but 
God ! God is most great ! — and as soon as I had done 
this, he cast me out of the boat, and sank in the sea. 

Being able to swim, I swam until night, when my arms 
and shoulders were tired, and, in this perilous situation, I 
repeated the profession of the faith, and gave myself up as 
lost ; but the sea rose with the violence of the wind, and a 
wave like a vast castle threw me upon the land, in order to 
the accomplishment of the purpose of God. I ascended the 
shore, and after I had wrung out my clothes, and spread 
them upon the ground to dry, I slept; and in the morning 
I put on my clothes again, and, looking about to see which 
way J should go, I found a tract covered with trees, to which 
I advanced ; and when I had walked round it, I found that 
1 was upon a small island in the midst of the sea; upon 



which I said within myself, Every time that I escape from 
one calamity I fall into another that is worse: — but while I 
was reflecting upon my unfortunate case, and wishing for 
death, I beheld a vessel bearing a number of men. I arose 
immediately, and climbed into a tree ; and lo, the vessel 
came to the shore, and there landed from it ten black slaves 
bearing axes. They proceeded to the middle of the island, 
and, digging up the earth, uncovered and lifted up a trap- 
door, after which they returned to the vessel, and brought 
from it bread and flour and clarified butter and honey and 
sheep and everything that the wants of an inhabitant would 
require, continuing to pass backwards and forwards between 
the vessel and the trap-door, bringing loads from the former, 
and entering the latter, until they had removed all the stores 
from the ship. They then came out of the vessel with 
various clothes of the most beautiful description, and in the 
midst of them was an old sheykh, enfeebled and wasted 
by extreme age, leading by the hand a young man cast in 
the mould of graceful symmetry, and invested with such 
perfect beauty as deserved to be a subject for proverbs. He 
was like a fresh and slender twig, enchanting and captivating 
every heart by his elegant form. The party proceeded to 
the trap-door, and, entering it, became concealed from my 

They remained beneath about two hours, or more; after 
which, the sheykh and the slaves came out; but the youth 
came not with them ; and they replaced the earth, and 
embarked and set sail. Soon after, I descended from the 
tree, and went to the excavation. I removed the earth, and, 
entering the aperture, saw a flight of wooden steps, which 
I descended; and, at the bottom, I beheld a handsome 
dwelling-place, furnished with a variety of silken carpets; 
and there was the youth, sitting upon a high mattress, with 
sweet-smelling flowers and fruits placed before him. On 
seeing mc, his countenance became pale ; but I saluted him, 
and said, Let thy mind be composed, O my Master: thou 
hast nothing to fear, O delight of my eye ; for I am a man, 
and the son of a King, like thyself: fate hath impelled me to 
thee, that I may cheer thee in thy solitude. The youth, 
when he heard me thus address him, and was convinced that 


I was one of his own species, rejoiced exceedingly at my 
arrival, his colour returned, and, desiring me to approach 
him, he said, O my brother, my story is wonderful: my 
father is a jeweller: he had slaves who made voyages by his 
orders, for the purposes of commerce, and he had dealings 
with Kings; but he had never been blest with a son; and he 
dreamt that he was soon to have a son, but one whose life 
would be short; and he awoke sorrowful. Shortly after, in 
accordance with the decrees of God, my mother conceived 
me, and when her time was complete, she gave birth to me; 
and my father was greatly rejoiced: the astrologers, however, 
came to him, and said, Thy son will live fifteen years: his 
fate is intimated by the fact that there is, in the sea, a 
mountain called the Mountain of Loadstone, whereon is a 
horseman on a horse of brass, on the former of which is 
a tablet of lead suspended to his neck; and when the 
horseman shall be thrown down from his horse, thy son will 
be slain : the person who is to slay him is he who will throw 
down the horseman, and his name is King 'Ajib, the son 
of King Khasib. My father was greatly afflicted at this 
announcement; and when he had reared me until I had 
nearly attained the age of fifteen years, the astrologers came 
again, and informed him that the horseman had fallen into 
the sea, and that it had been thrown down by King 'Ajib, 
the son of King Khasib; on hearing which, he prepared for 
me this dwelling, and here left me to remain until the com- 
pletion of the term, of which there now remain ten days. 
All this he did from fear lest King 'Ajib should kill me. 

When I heard this, I was filled with wonder, and said 
within myself, I am King 'Ajib, the son of King Khasib, and 
it was I who threw down the horseman; but, by Allah, I will 
neither kill him nor do him any injury. Then said I to the 
youth. Far from thee be both destruction and harm, if it be 
the will of God, whose name be exalted: thou hast nothing 
to fear: I will remain with thee to serve thee, and will go 
forth with thee to thy father, and beg of him to send me 
back to my country, for the which he will obtain a reward. 
The youth rejoiced at my words, and I sat and conversed 
with him until night, when I spread his bed for him, and 
covered him, and slept near to his side. And in the morning 


I brought him water, and he washed his face, and said to me, 
May God requite thee for me with every blessing. If I 
escape from King 'Ajib, I will make my father reward thee 
with abundant favours. Never, I replied, may the day arrive 
that would bring thee misfortune. I then placed before him 
some refreshments, and after we had eaten together, we 
passed the day conversing with the utmost cheerfulness. 

I continued to serve him for nine days ; and on the tenth 
day the youth rejoiced at finding himself in safety, and said 
to me, O my brother, I wish that thou wouldst in thy kind- 
ness warm for me some water, that I may wash myself and 
change my clothes; for I have smelt the odour of escape 
from death, in consequence of thy assistance. — With pleasure, 
I replied; — and I arose, and warmed the water; after which, 
he entered a place concealed from my view, and, having 
washed himself and changed his clothes, laid himself upon 
the mattress to rest after his bath. He then said to me, 
Cut up for me, O my brother, a water-melon, and mix its 
juice with some sugar: — so I arose, and taking a melon, 
brought it upon a plate, and said to him, Knowest thou, O 
my master, where is the knife? — See, here it is, he answered, 
upon the shelf over my head. I sprang up hastily, and 
took it from its sheath, and as I was drawing back, my foot 
slipped, as God had decreed, and I fell upon the youth, 
grasping in my hand the knife, which entered his body, and 
he died instantly. When I perceived that he was dead, and 
that I had killed him, I uttered a loud shriek, and beat my 
face and rent my clothes, saying. This is, indeed, a 
calamity ! O what a calamity ! O my Lord, I implore thy 
pardon, and declare to Thee my innocence of his death ! 
Would that I had died before him ! How long shall I devour 
trouble after trouble ! 

With these reflections I ascended the steps, and, having 
replaced the trap-door, returned to my first station, and 
looked over the sea, where I saw the vessel that had come 
before, approaching, and cleaving the waves in its rapid 
course. Upon this I said within myself. Now will the men 
come forth from the vessel, and find the youth slain, and 
they will slay me also: — so I climbed into a tree, and con- 
cealed myself among its leaves, and sat there till the vessel 


arrived and cast anchor, when the slaves landed with the 
old sheykh, the father of the youth, and went to the place, 
and removed the earth. They were surprised at finding it 
moist, and when they had descended the steps, they dis- 
covered the youth lying on his back, exhibiting a face 
beaming with beauty, though dead, and clad in white and 
clean clothing, with the knife remaining in his body. They 
all wept at the sight, and the father fell down in a swoon, 
w'hich lasted so long that the slaves thought he was dead. 
At length, however, he recovered, and came out with the 
slaves, who had wrapped the body of the youth in his clothes. 
They then took back all that was in the subterranean dwelling 
to the vessel, and departed. 

I remained, O my mistress, by day hiding myself in a 
tree, and at night walking about the open part of the island. 
Thus I continued for the space of two months; and I per- 
ceived that, on the western side of the island, the water of 
the sea every day retired, until, after three months, the land 
that had been beneath it became dry. Rejoicing at this, and 
feeling confident now in my escape, I traversed this 
dry tract, and arrived at an expanse of sand ; whereupon 
I emboldened myself, and crossed it. I then saw in the 
distance an appearance of fire, and, advancing towards it, 
found it to be a palace, overlaid with plates of copper, which, 
reflecting the rays of the sun, seemed from a distance to 
be fire : and when I drew near to it, reflecting upon this 
sight, there approached me an old sheykh, accompanied by 
ten young men who were all blind of one eye, at which I 
was extremely surprised. As soon as they saw me, they 
saluted me, and asked me my story, which I related to them 
from first to last ; and they were filled with wonder. They 
then conducted me into the palace, where I saw ten benches, 
upon each of which was a mattress covered with a blue 
stuff ;" and each of the young men seated himself upon one 
of these benches, while the sheykh took his place upon a 
smaller one; after which they said to me, Sit down, O 
young man, and ask no question respecting our condition, 
nor respecting our being blind of one eye. Then the sheykh 
arose and brought to each of them some food, and the same 

"The colour of mourning. 


to me also; and next he brought to each of us some wine: 
and after we had eaten, we sat drinking together until the 
time for sleep, when the young men said to the sheykh, Bring 
to us our accustomed supply : — upon which the sheykh arose, 
and entered a closet, from which he brought upon his head, 
ten covered trays. Placing these upon the floor, he lighted 
ten candles, and stuck one of them upon each tray ; and, 
having done this he removed the covers, and there ap- 
peared beneath them ashes mixed with pounded charcoal. 
The young men then tucked up their sleeves above the 
elbow, and blackened their faces, and slapped their cheeks, 
exclaiming. We were reposing at our ease, and our im- 
pertinent curiosity suffered us not to remain so ! Thus they 
did until the morning, when the sheykh brought them some 
hot water, and they washed their faces, and put on other 

On witnessing this conduct, my reason was confounded, 
my heart was so troubled that I forgot my own misfortunes, 
and I asked them the cause of their strange behaviour; 
upon which they looked towards me, and said, O young 
man, ask not respecting that which doth not concern thee; 
but be silent; for in silence is security from error. — I 
remained with them a whole month, during which every 
night they did the same; and at length I said to them, I 
conjure you by Allah to remove this disquiet from my mind, 
and to inform me of the cause of your acting in this manner, 
and of your exclaiming, We were reposing at our ease, and 
our impertinent curiosity suffered us not to remain so ! — if 
ye inform me not, I will leave you, and go my way; for the 
proverb saith, When the eye seeth not, the heart doth not 
grieve. — On hearing these words, they replied. We have not 
concealed this affair from thee but in our concern for thy 
welfare, lest thou shouldst become like us, and the same 
affliction that hath befallen us happen also to thee. I said, 
however. Ye must positively inform me of this matter. — We 
give thee good advice, said they, and do thou receive it, and 
ask us not respecting our case ; otherwise thou wilt become 
blind of one eye, like us: — but I still persisted in my 
request; whereupon they said. O young man, if this befall 
thee, know that thou wilt be banished from our company. 


They then all arose, and, taking a ram, slaughtered and 
skinned it, and said to me. Take this knife with thee, and 
introduce thyself into the skin of the ram, and we will 
sew thee up in it, and go away; whereupon a bird called 
the rukh will come to thee, and, taking thee up by its talons, 
will fly away with thee, and set thee down upon a mountain : 
then cut open the skin with this knife, and get out, and the 
bird will fly away. Thou must arise, as soon as it hath 
gone, and journey for half a day, and thou wilt see be- 
fore thee a lofty palace, encased with red gold, set with 
various precious stones, such as emeralds and rubies, &c. ; 
and if thou enter it thy case will be as ours; for our 
entrance into that palace was the cause of our being blind 
of one eye; and if one of us would relate to thee all that 
hath befallen him, his story would be too long for thee to 

They then sewed me up in the skin, and entered their 
palace; and soon after, there came an enormous white bird, 
which seized me, and flew away with me, and set me down 
upon the mountain ; whereupon I cut open the skin, and 
got out; and the bird, as soon as it saw me, flew away. I 
rose up quickly, and proceeded towards the palace, which 
I found to be as they had described it to me; and when I 
had entered it, I beheld, at the upper end of a saloon, forty 
young damsels, beautiful as so many moons, and magnifi- 
cently attired, who, as soon as they saw me, exclaimed, 
Welcome ! Welcome ! O our master and our lord ! We 
have been for a month expecting thee. Praise be to God 
who hath blessed us with one who is worthy of us, and one 
of whom we are worthy ! — After having thus greeted me, 
they seated me upon a mattress, and said. Thou art from 
this day our master and prince, and we are thy handmaids, 
and entirely under thy authority. They then brought to 
me some refreshments, and when I had eaten and drunk, they 
sat and conversed with me, full of joy and happiness. So 
lovely were these ladies, that even a devotee, if he saw 
them, would gladly consent to be their servant, and to com- 
ply with all that they would desire. At the approach of 
night they all assembled around me, and placed before me 
a table of fresh and dried fruits, with other delicacies that 


the tongue cannot describe, and wine; and one began to 
sing, while another played upon the lute. The wine-cups 
circulated among us, and joy overcame me to such a degree 
as to obliterate from my mind every earthly care, and make 
me exclaim. This is indeed a delightful life ! I passed a 
night of such enjoyment as I had never before experienced; 
and on the morrow I entered the bath; and, after I had 
washed myself, they brought me a suit of the richest cloth- 
ing, and we again sat down to a repast. 

In this manner I lived with them a whole year ; but on 
the first day of the new year, they seated themselves around 
me, and began to weep, and bade me farewell, clinging to 
my skirts. — What calamity hath befallen you? said I. Ye 
have broken my heart. — They answered. Would that we had 
never known thee; for we have associated with many men, 
but have seen none like thee. May God, therefore, not 
deprive us of thy company. — And they wept afresh. I said 
to them, I wish that you would acquaint me with the cause 
of this weeping. — Thou, they replied, art the cause; yet 
now, if thou wilt attend to what we tell thee, we shall never 
be parted; but if thou act contrary to it, we are separated 
from this time; and our hearts whisper to us that thou wilt 
not regard our warning. — Inform me, said I, and I will 
attend to your directions: — and they replied. If then thou 
wouldst inquire respecting our history, know that we are the 
daughters of Kings : for many years it hath been our custom 
to assemble here, and every year we absent ourselves during 
a period of forty days; then returning, we indulge ourselves 
for a year in feasting and drinking. This is our usual prac- 
tice ; and now we fear that thou wilt disregard our directions 
when we arc absent from thee. We deliver to thee the keys 
of the palace, which are a hundred in number, belonging to a 
hundred closets. Open each of these, and amuse thyself, 
and eat and drink, and refresh thyself, excepting the closet 
that hath a door of red gold; for if thou open this, the con- 
sequence will be a separation between us and thee. We con- 
jure thee, therefore, to observe our direction, and to be patient 
during this period. — Upon hearing this, I swore to them that 
I would never open the closet to which they alluded; and 
they departed, urgins: me to be faithful to my promise. 


I remained alone in the palace, and at the approach of 
evening I opened the first closet, and, entering it, found a 
mansion like paradise, with a garden containing green trees 
loaded with ripe fruits, abounding with singing birds, and 
watered by copious streams. ^My heart was soothed by the 
sight, and I wandered among the trees, scenting the fragrance 
of the flowers, and listening to the warbling of the birds as 
they sang the praises of the One, the Almighty. After 
admiring the mingled colours of the apple resembling the 
hue upon the cheek of a beloved mistress and the sallow 
countenance of the perplexed and timid lover, the sweet- 
smelling quince diffusing an odour like musk and ambergris, 
and the plum shining as the ruby, I retired from this place, 
and, having locked the door, opened that of the next closet, 
within which I beheld a spacious tract planted with numerous 
palm-trees, and watered by a river flowing among rose-trees, 
and jasmine, and marjoram, and eglantine, and narcissus, 
and gilliflower, the odours of which diffused in every direc- 
tion by the wind, inspired me with the utmost delight. I 
locked again the door of the second closet, and opened that 
of the third. Within this I found a large saloon, paved with 
marbles of various colours, and with costly minerals and 
precious gems, and containing cages constructed of sandal 
and aloes-wood with singing birds within them, and others 
upon the branches of trees which were planted there. My 
heart was charmed, my trouble was dissipated, and I slept 
there until the morning. I then opened the door of the 
fourth closet, and within this door I found a great building 
in which were forty closets with open doors; and, entering 
these, I beheld pearls, and rubies, and chrysolites, and 
emeralds, and other precious jewels such as the tongue can- 
not describe. I was astonished at the sight and said, Such 
things as these, I imagine, are not found in the treasury of 
any King. I am now the King of my age, and all these 
treasures, through the goodness of God, are mine, together 
with forty damsels under my authority who have no man to 
share them with me. 

Thus I continued to amuse myself, passing from one 
place to another, until thirty-nine days had elapsed, and I 
had opened the doors of all the closets excepting that which 


they had forbidden me to open. My heart was t!ien dis- 
turbed by curiosity respecting this hundredth closet, and the 
Devil, in order to plunge me into misery, induced me to 
open it. I had not patience to abstain, though there 
remained of the appointed period only one day: So I 
approached the closet, and opened the door; and when I 
had entered, I perceived a fragrant odour, such as I had 
never before smelt, which intoxicated me so that I fell 
down insensible, and remained some time in this state: but 
at length recovering, I fortified my heart, and proceeded. I 
found the floor overspread with saffron, and the place 
illuminated by golden lamps and by candles, which diffused 
the odours of musk and ambergris; and two large perfum- 
ing-vessels filled with aloes-wood and ambergris, and a 
perfume compounded with honey, spread fragrance through 
the whole place. I saw also a black horse, of the hue of 
the darkest night, before which was a manger of white 
crystal filled with cleansed sesame, and another, similar to 
it, containing rose-water infused with musk: he was saddled 
and bridled, and his saddle was of red gold. Wondering 
at the sight of him, I said within myself, This must be an 
animal of extraordinary qualities; — and, seduced by the 
Devil, I led him out, and mounted him; but he moved not 
from his place : I kicked him with my heel ; but still he 
moved not : so I took a mikra'ah and struck him with it ; 
and as soon- as he felt the blow he uttered a sound like 
thunder, and, expanding a pair of wangs, soared with me to 
an immense height through the air, and then alighted upon 
the roof of another palace, where he threw me from his 
back, and, by a violent blow with his tail upon my face, as 
I sat on the roof, struck out my eye, and left me. 

In this state I descended from the roof, and below I 
fotmd the one-eyed young men before mentioned, who, as 
soon as they beheld mc, exclaimed, No welcome to thee ! — 
Receive me, said I, into your company: — but they replied, 
By Allah, thou shalt not remain with us : — so I departed 
from them, with mournful heart and weeping eye, and, God 
having decreed me a safe journey hither, I arrived at 
Baghdad, after I had shaved my beard, and become a 


The mistress of the house then looked towards the 
KhaHfeh and Ja'far and Mesrur, and said to them, Acquaint 
me with your histories: — upon which Ja'far advanced to- 
wards her, and related to her the same story that he had 
told to the portress before they entered; and when she had 
heard it, she liberated them all. They accordingly de- 
parted, and when they had gone out into the street, the 
Khalifeh inquired of the mendicants whither they were 
going. They answered that they knew not whither to go : 
whereupon he desired them to accompany his party; and 
then said to Ja'far, Take them home with thee, and bring 
them before me to-morrow_, and we will see the result. 
Ja'far, therefore, did as he was commanded, and the Khalifeh 
returned to his palace; but he was unable to sleep during 
the remainder of the night. 

On the following morning he sat upon his throne, and 
when his courtiers had presented themselves before him, 
and departed, excepting Ja'far, he said to him, Bring before 
me the three ladies and the two bitches and the mendicants. 
So Ja'far arose, and brought them, and, placing the ladies 
behind the curtains, said to them, We have forgiven you 
on account of your previous kindness to us, and because 
ye knew us not; and now I acquaint you that ye are in 
the presence of the fifth of the sons of El-'Abbas, Harun 
Er-Rashid; therefore relate to him nothing but the truth. 
And when the ladies heard the words which Ja'far ad- 
dressed to them on the part of the Khalifeh, the eldest of 
them advanced, and thus related her story : — 

The Story of the First of the Three Ladies of 

O Prince of the Faithful, my story is wonderful ; for 
these two bitches are my sisters, born to my father, but 
of another mother; and I am the youngest of the three. 
After the death of our father, who left us five thousand 
pieces of gold, these my two sisters married, and when 
they had resided some time with their husbands, each of 
the latter prepared a stock of merchandise, and received 
from his wife a thousand pieces of gold, and they all set 


forth on a journey together, leaving me here; but after 
they had been absent four years, my sisters' husbands lost 
all their property, and abandoned them in a strange land, 
and they returned to me in the garb of beggars. When I 
first saw them in this state, I knew them not; and, as soon 
as I recognised them, I exclaimed. How is it that ye are in 
this condition? — O our sister, they answered, thy inquiry 
now is of no use : the Pen hath written what God hath 
decreed. — I sent them, therefore, to the bath, and, having 
clad them in new apparel, said to them, O my sisters, ye 
are my elders, and I am young; so ye shall be to me in 
the places of my father and mother. The inheritance which 
I shared with you God hath blessed; partake then of its 
increase, for my affairs are prosperous ; and I and ye shall 
fare alike. — I treated them with the utmost kindness, and 
during a whole year they remained with me, and enriched 
themselves by the money that I had given them ; but after 
this period they said to me, It will be more agreeable to 
us to marry again, for we can no longer abstain from doing 
so. — O my sisters, I replied, ye have seen no happiness in 
marriage : a good husband in this age is rarely found, and 
ye have already had experience of the marriage-state. They, 
however, heeded not my words ; but married against my 
consent : yet I gave them dowries from my own property, 
and continued to them my protection. They went to their 
husbands, and the latter, after they had resided with them 
a short time, defrauded them of all that they possessed, 
and, setting forth on a journey, left them destitute : so again 
they returned to me, and, in a state of nudity, implored my 
forgiveness, saying. Be not angry with us; for though thou 
art younger than we, thou hast more mature sense ; and we 
promise thee that we will never again mention the subject 
of marriage. I replied. Ye are welcome, O my sisters ; for 
I have no one dearer to me than yourselves : — and I re- 
ceived them, and treated them with every kindness, and we 
remained happily together for the space of a year. 

After this I resolved to fit out a vessel for a mercantile 
voyage : accordingly, I stocked a large ship with various 
goods and necessary provisions, and said to my sisters. 
Will ye rather stay at home during my voyage, or will ye 



go with me? — to which they answered, We will accompany 
thee during the voyage, for we cannot endure to be separated 
from thee. I therefore took them with me, and we set sail; 
but first I divided my property into two equal portions; one 
of which I took with me, and the other I concealed, saying 
within myself. Perhaps some evil accident may happen to 
the ship, and our lives may be prolonged ; in which case, 
when we return we shall find that which will be of service 
to us. — We continued our voyage by day and night, till at 
length the vessel pursued a wrong course, and the captain 
knew not whither to steer. The ship had entered a different 
sea from that which we wished to cross, and for some time 
we knew it not ; but for ten days we had a pleasant wind, 
and after this, a city loomed before us in the distance. We 
asked the captain what was the name of this city; and he 
answered, I know it not; I have never seen it till this day, 
nor have I ever before in the course of my life navigated 
this sea : but as we have come hither in safety, ye have 
nothing to do but to enter this city and land your goods, 
and, if ye find opportunity, sell or exchange there: if not, 
we will rest there two days, and take in fresh provisions, 
So we entered the port of the city, and the captain landed, 
and after a while returned to us, saying. Arise, and go up 
into the city, and wonder at that which God hath done 
unto his creatures, and pray to be preserved from his anger. 
And when we had entered the city, we found all its in- 
habitants converted into black stones. We were amazed 
at the sight, and as we walked through the market-streets, 
finding the merchandise and the gold and silver remaining 
in their original state, we rejoiced, and said, This must have 
been occasioned by some wonderful circumstance. We then 
separated in the streets, each of us attracted from his com- 
panions by the wealth and stuffs in the shops. 

As for myself, I ascended to the citadel, which I found 
to be a building of admirable construction; and, entering 
the King's palace, I found all the vessels of gold and silver 
remaining in their places, and the King himself seated in 
the midst of his Chamberlains and Viceroys and Wezirs, 
and clad in apparel of astonishing richness. Drawing nearer 
to him, I perceived that he was sitting upon a throne adorned 


with pearls and jewels, every one of the pearls shining like 
a star: his dress was embroidered with gold, and around 
him stood fifty memluks, attired in silks of various descrip- 
tions, and having in their hands drawn swords. Stupefied 
at this spectacle, I proceeded, and entered the saloon of 
the Harim, upon the walls of which were hung silken 
curtains; and here I beheld the Queen, attired in a dress 
embroidered with fresh pearls, and having upon her head 
a diadem adorned with various jewels, and necklaces of 
different kinds on her neck. All her clothing and ornaments 
remained as they were at first, though she herself was con- 
verted into black stone. Here also I found an open door, 
and, entering it, I saw a flight of seven steps, by which I 
ascended to an apartment paved with marble, furnished 
with gold-embroidered carpets, and containing a couch of 
alabaster, ornamented with pearls and jewels; but my eyes 
were first attracted by a gleam of light, and when I ap- 
proached the spot whence it proceeded, I found a brilliant 
jewel, of the size of an ostrich's egg, placed upon a small, 
stool, diffusing a light like that of a candle. The coverings 
of the couch above mentioned were of various kinds of silk, 
the richness of which would surprise every beholder ; and 
I looked at them with wonder. In this apartment I like- 
wise observed some lighted candles, and reflected that there 
must then have been some person there to light them. I 
passed thence to another part of the palace, and continued 
to explore the different apartments, forgetting myself in the 
amazement of my mind at all these strange circumstances, 
and immersed in thoughts respecting what I beheld, until the 
commencement of night, when I would have departed; but 
could not find the door; so I returned to the place in which 
were the lighted candles, and there I laid myself upon the 
couch, and, covering myself with a quilt, repeated some 
words of the Kur'an and endeavoured to compose myself 
to sleep ; but I could not. I continued restless : and at 
midnight I heard a recitation of the Kur'an, performed by 
a melodious and soft voice; upon which I arose, and, look- 
ing about, saw a closet with an open door, and I entered 
it, and found that it was an oratory : lighted lamps were 
suspended in it, and ujjon a prayer carpet spread on the 


floor sat a young man of handsome aspect. Wondering that 
he had escaped the fate of the other inhabitants of the city, 
I saluted him; and he raised his eyes, and returned my 
salutation: and I then said to him, I conjure thee by the 
truth of that which thou art reading in the Book of God, 
that thou answer the question which I am about to ask 
thee: — whereupon he smiled, and replied, Do thou first 
acquaint me with the cause of thine entrance into this 
place, and then I will answer thy question : so I told him 
my story, and inquired of him the history of this city. Wait 
a little, said he ; — and he closed the Kur'an, and, having 
put it in a bag of satin, seated me by his side. As I now 
beheld him, his countenance appeared like the full moon, and 
his whole person exhibited such perfect elegance and loveli- 
ness, that a single glance at him drew from me a thousand 
sighs, and kindled a fire in my heart. I repeated my request 
that he would give me an account of the city ; and, replying, 
I hear and obey, he thus addressed me : — 

Know that this city belonged to my father and his 
family and subjects; and he is the King whom thou hast 
seen converted into stone; and the Queen whom thou hast 
seen is my mother. They were all Magians, worshipping 
fire in the place of the Almighty King; and they swore by 
the fire and the light, and the shade and the heat, and the 
revolving orb. My father had no son, till, in his declining 
years, he was blest with me, whom he reared until I attained 
to manhood. But, happily for me, there was, in our family, 
an old woman, far advanced in age, who was a JMuslimeh, 
believing in God and his Apostle in her heart, though she 
conformed with my family in outward observances ; and my 
father confided in her, on account of the faithfulness and 
modesty that he had observed in her character, and shewed 
her great favour, firmly believing that she held the same 
faith as himself; therefore, when I had passed my infancy, 
he committed me to her care, saying, Take him, and rear 
him, and instruct him in the ordinances of our faith, and 
educate him and serve him in the best manner. The old 
woman accordingly received me, but took care to instruct 
me in the faith of El-Islam, teaching me the laws of purifi- 
cation, and the divine ordinances of ablution, together with 


the forms of prayer; after which she made me commit to 
memory the whole of the Kur'an. She then charged me to 
keep my faith a secret from my father, lest he should kill 
me; and I did so; and a few days after, the old woman 
died. The inhabitants of the city had now increased in 
their impiety and arrogance, and in their dereliction of the 
truth; and while they were in this state, they heard a crier 
proclaim with a voice like thunder, so as to be audible to 
both the near and the distant, O inhabitants of this city, 
abstain from the worship of fire, and worship the Almighty 
King! — The people were struck with consternation, and, 
flocking to my father, the King of the city, said to him. 
What is this alarming voice which hath astounded us by its 
terrible sound? — but he answered them. Let not the voice 
terrify you. nor let it turn you from your faith: — and their 
hearts inclined to his words; so they persevered in the 
worship of fire, and remained obstinate in their impiety 
during another year, until the return of the period at which 
they had heard the voice the first time. It was then heard 
a second time; and again, in the next year, they heard it a 
third time; but still they persisted in their evil ways, until, 
drawing down upon themselves the abhorrence and indigna- 
tion of Heaven, one morning, shortly after daybreak, they 
were converted into black stones, together with their beasts 
and all their cattle. Not one of the inhabitants of the city 
escaped, excepting me; and from the day on which this 
catastrophe happened, I have continued occupied as thou 
seest, in prayer, and fasting, and reading the Kur'an : but I 
have become weary of this solitary state, having no one to 
cheer me with his company. 

On hearing these words, I said to him, Wilt thou go with 
me to the city of Baghdad, and visit its learned men and 
lawyers, and increase thy knowledge? If so, I will be thy 
handmaid, though I am the mistress of my family, and have 
authority over a household of men. I have here a ship 
laden with merchandise, and destiny hath driven us to this 
city, in order that we might become acquainted with these 
events: our meeting was predestined. — In this manner I 
continued to persuade him until he gave his consent. I 
slept that night at his feet, unconscious of my state through 


excessive joy; and in the morning we rose, and, entering 
the treasuries, took away a quantity of the lighter and most 
valuable of the articles that they contained, and descended 
from the citadel into the city, where we met the slaves 
and the captain, who were searching for me. They were 
rejoiced at seeing me, and, to their questions respecting 
my absence, I replied by informing them of all that I had 
seen, and related to them the history of the young man, 
and the cause of the transmutation of the people of the 
city, and of all that had befallen them, which filled them 
with wonder. But when my two sisters saw me with the 
young man, they envied me on his account, and malevolently 
plotted against me. 

We embarked again, and I experienced the utmost hap- 
piness, chiefly owing to the company of the young man ; and 
after we had waited a while till the wind was favourable, 
we spread our sails, and departed. My sisters sat with me 
and the young man ; and, in their conversation with me, 
said, O our sister, what dost thou purpose to do with this 
handsome youth? I answered, I desire to take him as my 
husband : — and, turning to him, and approaching him, I 
said, O, my master, I wish to make a proposal to thee, and 
do not thou oppose it. He replied, I hear and obey: — and 
I then looked towards my sisters, and said to them. This 
young man is all that I desire, and all the wealth that is 
here is yours. — Excellent, they replied, is thy determination : 
— yet still they designed evil against me. — We continued 
our voyage with a favourable wind, and, quitting the sea of 
peril, entered the sea of security, across which we proceeded 
for some days, until we drew near to the city of El-Basrah, 
the buildings of which loomed before us at the approach of 
evening; but as soon as we had fallen asleep, my sisters 
took us up in our bed, both myself and the young man, and 
threw us into the sea. The youth, being unable to swim, 
was drowned ; God recorded him among the company of 
the martyrs; while I was registered among those whose life 
was yet to be preserved: and, accordingly, as soon as I 
awoke and found myself in the sea, the providence of God 
supplied me with a piece of timber, upon which I placed 
myself, and the waves cast me upon the shore of an island. 


During the remainder of the night I walked along this 
island, and in the morning I saw a neck oi land, bearing the 
marks of a man's feet, and uniting with the main land. The 
sun having now risen, I dried my clothes in its rays, and 
proceeded along the path that I had discovered until I drew 
near to the shore upon which stands the city, when I beheld 
a snake approaching me, and followed by a serpent which 
was endeavouring to destroy it : the tongue of the snake was 
hanging from its mouth in consequence of excessive fatigue, 
and it excited my compassion; so I took up a stone, and 
threw it at the head of the serpent, which instantly died : the 
snake then extended a pair of wings, and soared aloft into 
the sky, leaving me in wonder at the sight. At the time of 
this occurrence I had become so fatigued, that I now laid 
myself down and slept; but I awoke after a little while, and 
found a damsel seated at my feet, and gently rubbing them 
with her hands ; upon which I immediately sat up, feeling 
ashamed that she should perform this service for me, and 
said to her, Who art thou, and what dost thou want? — How 
soon hast thou forgotten me ! she exclaimed : I am she to 
whom thou hast just done a kindness, by killing my enemy: 
I am the snake whom thou savedst from the serpent; for I 
am a Jinniyeh, and the serpent was a Jinni at enmity with 
me; and none but thou delivered me from him: therefore, 
as soon as thou didst this, I flew to the ship from which thy 
sisters cast thee, and transported all that it contained to thy 
house ; I then sunk it ; but as to thy sisters, I transformed 
them by enchantment into two black bitches; for I knew all 
that they had done to thee: the young man, however, is 
drowned. — Having thus said, she took me up, and placed 
me with the two black bitches on the roof of my house: 
and I found all the treasures that the ship had contained 
collected in the midst of my house : nothing was lost. She 
then said to me, I swear by that which was engraved upon 
the seal of Sulcyman, that, if thou do not inflict three 
hundred lashes upon each of these bitches every day, I will 
come and transform thee in the like manner: — so I replied, 
I hear and obey: — and have continued ever since to inflict 
upon them these stripes, though pitying them while I 
do so. 


Th-e Khalifeh heard this story with astonishment, and 
then :'^^'^'^ to the second lady. And what occasioned the 
stripes -of which thou bearest the marks ? She answered as 
follows:-, — 
The ^"tory of the Second of the Three Ladies of 

Princf^ of the Faithful, my father, at his death, left 
consider ^^'^ property; and soon after that event I married 
to one of the wealthiest men of the age, who, when I had 
lived vv'^th him a year, died, and I inherited from him eighty 
thousap*d pieces of gold, the portion that fell to me accord- 
ing to (the law; with part of which I made for myself ten 
suits c'f clothing, each of the value of a thousand pieces of 
gold. " A"d as I was sitting one day, there entered my 
aparti ^^''^t an old woman, disgustingly ugly, who saluted 
me a."*i said, I have an orphan daughter whose marriage I 
am tc^ celebrate this night, and I would have thee obtain a 
rewa-"*i and recompense in heaven by thy being present at 
her r,iuptial festivity ; for she is broken-hearted, having none 
to bc-^^^^'^'^ her but God, whose name be exalted. She then 
wepf » and kissed my feet ; and, being moved with pity and 
com passion, I assented, upon which she desired me to pre- 
pare- myself, telling me that she would come at the hour of 
nigi itfall and take me ; and so saying, she kissed my hand, 
and- departed. 

j^ arose immediately, and attired myself, and when I had 
cor^plcted my preparations, the old woman returned, saying, 
O my mistress, the ladies of the city have arrived, and I 
have informed them of thy coming, and they are waiting 
•y^^j th joy to receive thee : — so I put on my outer garments, 
arid, taking my female slaves with me, proceeded until we 
a-Tived at a street in which a soft wind was delightfully 
^jlaying, where we saw a gateway over-arched with a marble 
.vault, admirably constructed, forming the entrance to a 
palace which rose from the earth to the clouds. On our 
arrival there, the old woman knocked at the door, and, 
when it was opened, we entered a carpeted passage, illumi- 
nated by lamps and candles, and decorated with jewels and 


precious metals. Through this passage we passed i»ito a 
saloon of unequalled magnificence, furnished with mattresses 
covered with silk, lighted by hanging lamps and by candles, 
and having, at its upper end, a couch of alabaster (decorated 
with pearls and jewels, and canopied by curtains of satin, 
from which there came forth a lady beautiful as the moon, 
who exclaimed to me, Most welcome art thou, O rny sister : 
thou delightest me by thy company, and refreshest 'my heart. 
She then sat down again, and said to me, O my sister, I 
have a brother who hath seen thee at a festivity: he is a 
young man, more handsome than myself, and, hiji heart 
being violently inflamed with love of thee, he hath bribed 
this old woman to go to thee, and to employ this artifice in 
order to obtain for me an interview with thee. He clesireth 
to marry thee according to the ordinance of God and his 
Apostle, and in that which is lawful there is no disgrace. — 
When I heard these words, and saw myself thus confined in 
the house so that I could not escape, I replied, I hea'", and 
obey: — and the lady, rejoicing at my consent, clapped her 
hands, and opened a door, upon which there came out from 
it a young man so surpassingly handsome, that my heart 
immediately inclined to him. No sooner had he sat clown 
than the Kadi and four witnesses entered, and saluted us, 
and proceeded to perform the ceremony of the marriage- 
contract between me and the young man ; which having 
done, they departed; and when they had retired, the young 
man looked towards me, and said. May our night be bles;'ed. 
He then informed me that he desired to impose a covenant 
upon me, and, bringing a copy of the Kur'an, said, Sw^ar 
that thou wilt not indulge a preference, nor at all incline, to 
any man but me: — and when I had sworn to this effect be 
rejoiced exceedingly, and embraced me; and the love oi 
him took entire possession of my heart. 

We lived together in the utmost happiness for the space 
of a month, after which I begged that he would allow m(? 
to go to the bazar, in order to purchase some stuffs for 
dress, and, having obtained his permission, went thither in 
company with the old woman, and seated myself at the shop 
of a young merchant with whom she was acquainted, and 
whose father, as she informed me, had died, and left him 


great wealth. She desired him to shew me his most costly 
stuffs; and while he was occupied in doing so, she began 
to utter various flattering expressions in praise of him ; but 
I said to her, We have no concern with the praises that thou 
bestowest upon him ; we desire only to make our purchase, 
and to return home. jMeanwhile he produced to us what 
we wanted, and we handed him the money : he refused, 
however, to take it, saying, It is an offer of hospitality to 
you for your visit this day : — whereupon I said to the old 
woman, If he will not take the money, return to him his 
stuff. But he would not receive it again, and exclaimed, 
By Allah, I will take nothing from you: all this is a present 
from me for a single kiss, which I shall value more than 
the entire contents of my shop. — What will a kiss profit 
thee? asked the old woman. Then, turning to me, she 
said, O my daughter, thou hast heard what the youth hath 
said : no harm will befall thee if he give thee a kiss, and 
thou shalt take what thou wantest. — Dost thou not know, 
said I, that I have taken an oath? She answered, Let him 
kiss thee then without thy speaking, and so it will be of no 
consequence to thee, and thou shalt take back thy money. 
Thus she continued to palliate the matter until I put my 
head (as it were) into the bag, and consented: so I covered 
my eyes, and held the edge of my veil in such a manner 
as to prevent the passengers from seeing me, whereupon he 
put his mouth to my cheek beneath the veil, but instead of 
merely kissing me, he lacerated my cheek by a violent bite. 
I fell into a swoon from the pain, and the old woman laid 
me on her lap till I recovered, when I found the shop closed, 
and the old woman uttering expressions of grief, and saying, 
What God hath averted would have been a greater calamity : 
let us return home, and do thou feign to be ill, and I will 
come to thee and apply a remedy that shall cure the wound, 
and thou wilt quickly be restored. 

After remaining there some time longer, I rose, and, in 
a state of great uneasiness and fear, returned to the house, 
and professed myself ill ; upon which my husband came in 
to me, and said, What hath befallen thee, O my mistress, 
during this excursion? I answered, I am not well. — And 
what is this wound, said he, that is upon thy check, and in 


the soft part? I answered, When I asked thy permission, 
and went out to-day to purchase some stuff for dress, a 
camel loaded with firewood drove against me in the crowd, 
and tore my veil, and wounded my cheek as thou seest, for 
the streets of this city are narrow. — To-morrow, then, he 
exclaimed, I will go to the governor, and make a complaint 
to him, and he shall hang every seller of firewood in the 
city. — By Allah, said I, burden not thyself by an injury to 
any one; for the truth is, that I was riding upon an ass, 
which took fright with me, and I fell upon the ground, and 
a stick lacerated my cheek. — If it be so, then, he replied, 
I will go to-morrow to Ja'far El-Barmeki, and relate the 
matter to him, and he shall kill every ass-driver in this 
city. — Wilt thou, said I, kill all those men on my account 
when this which befell me was decreed by God? — Un- 
doubtedly, he answered; and, so saying, he seized me 
violently, and then sprang up, and uttered a loud cry, upon 
which the door opened, and there came forth from it seven 
black slaves, who dragged me from my bed, and threw me 
down in the middle of the apartment ; whereupon he ordered 
one of them to hold me by my shoulders, and to sit upon 
my head; and another to sit upon my knees and to hold 
my feet. A third then came, with a sword in his hand, 
and said, O my lord, shall I strike her with the sword, 
and cleave her in twain, that each of these may take a half 
and throw it into the Tigris for the fish to devour? For 
such is the punishment of her who is unfaithful to her oath 
and to the laws of love. — My husband answered, Strike her 
O Sa'ad : — And the slave, with the drawn sword in his hand, 
said, Repeat the profession of the faith, and reflect what 
thou wouldst have to be done, that thou mayest give thy 
testamentary directions, for this is the end of thy life. — Good 
slave, I replied, release me for a while that I may do so: — 
and I raised my head, and weeping as I spoke, addressed 
my husband with these verses: — 

You render me lovelorn, and remain at ease. You make my 
wounded eyelids to be restless, and you sleep. 

Your abode is between my heart and my eyes ; and my heart will 
not relinquish you, nor my tears conceal my passion. 



You made a covenant with me that you would remain faithful ; but 
when you had gained possession of my heart you deceived me. 

Will you not pity my love for you and my moaning? Have you 
yourself been secure from misfortunes? 

I conjure you, by Allah, if 1 die, that you write upon my tomb- 
stone, This was a slave of love. 

That, perchance, some mourner who hath felt the same flame may 
pass by the lover's grave, and pity her. 

But on hearing these verses, and witnessing my weeping, 
he became more incensed, and repHed in the words of this 
couplet : — 

I reject not the beloved of my heart from weariness : her own guilty 

conduct is the cause of her punishment. 
She desired that another should share with me her love ; but the 

faith of my heart inclineth not to partnership. 

I continued to weep, and to endeavour to excite his 
compassion, saying within myself, I will humble me before 
him, and address him with soft words, that he may at least 
refrain from killing me, though he take all that I possess ; — 
but he cried out to the slave. Cleave her in twain ; for she 
is no longer of any value to us. — So the slave approached 
me, and I now felt assured of my death, and committed 
myself to God; but suddenly the old woman came and 
threw herself at my husband's feet, and, kissing them, 
exclaimed, O my son, by the care with which I nursed thee, 
I conjure thee to pardon this damsel, for she hath com- 
mitted no ofifence that deserveth such a punishment: thou 
art young, and I fear the effect of the imprecations that she 
may utter against thee : — and after she had thus addressed 
him, she wept, and continued to importune him, until, at 
length, he said, I pardon her, but must cause her to bear 
upon her person such marks of her offence as shall last for 
the remainder of her life. So saying he commanded the 
slaves to strip off my vest, and, taking a stick cut from a 
quince-tree, he beat me upon my back and my sides until 
I became insensible from the violence of the blows, and 
despaired of my life. He then ordered the slaves to take 
me away as soon as it was night, accompanied by the old 
woman, and throw me into my house in which I formerly 
resided. They accordingly executed their lord's commands, 


and when they had deposited me in my house, I appHed 
myself to the heaUng of my wounds; but, after I had cured 
myself, my sides still bore the appearance of having been 
beaten with mikra'ahs. I continued to apply remedies for 
four months before I \\'as restored, and then repaired to 
view the house in which this event had happened; but I 
found it reduced to ruin, and the whole street pulled down; 
the site of the house I found occupied by mounds of rubbish, 
and I knew not the cause. 

Under these circumstances, I went to reside with this 
my sister, who is of the same father as myself, and I found 
with her these two bitches. Having saluted her, I informed 
her of all that had befallen me; to which she replied, Who 
is secure from the afflictions of fortune? Praise be to God 
who terminated the affair with safety to thy life ! — She then 
related to me her own story, and that of her two sisters, and 
I remained with her, and neither of us ever mentioned the 
subject of marriage. Afterwards we were joined by thib our 
other sister, the cateress, who every day goes out to purchase 
for us whatever we happen to want. 

The Khalifeh was astonished at this story, and ordered 
it to be recorded in a book, as an authentic history, and 
deposited the book in his library. And he said to the first 
lady, Knowest thou where the Jinniyeh who enchanted thy 
sister is to be found? She answered, O Prince of the 
Faithful, she gave me a lock of her hair, and said. When thou 
desirest my presence, burn a few of these hairs, and I will 
be with thee quickly, though I should be beyond Mount 
Kaf. — Bring then the hair, said the Khalifeh. The lady, 
therefore, produced it; and the Khalifeh, taking it, burned 
a portion of it, and when the odour had diffused itself, the 
palace shook, and they heard a sound of thunder, and lo, 
the Jinniyeh appeared before them. She was a Jiluslimeh, 
and therefore greeted the Khalifeh by saying. Peace be on 
thee, O Khalifeh of God! — to which he replied, On you be 
peace, and the mercy of God, and his blessings !" She then 
said. Know that this lady hath conferred on me a benefit 
for which I am unable to requite her; for she rescued me 
from death, by killing my enemy; and I, having seen 

13 This salutation and its reply are to be given only to and by Muslims. 



what her sisters had done to her, determined to take 
vengeance upon them; therefore I transformed them by 
enchantment into two bitches ; and, indeed, I had wished 
rather to kill them, fearing lest they should trouble her ; 
but now, if thou desire their restoration, O Prince of the 
Faithful, I will restore them, as a favour to thee and to her; 
for I am one of the true believers. — Do so, said the 
Khalifeh; and then we will enter upon the consideration 
of the affair of the lady who hath been beaten, and examine 
her case, and if her veracity be established, I will take 
vengeance for her upon him who hath oppressed her. The 
Jinniyeh replied, O Prince of the Faithful, I will guide thee 
to the discovery of him who acted thus to this lady, and 
oppressed her, and took her property: he is thy nearest 
relation. She then took a cup of water, and, having pro- 
nounced a spell over it, sprinkled the faces of the two 
bitches, saying, Be restored to your original human forms ! 
■ — whereupon they became again two young ladies. — Extolled 
be the perfection of their Creator ! Having done this, the 
Jinniyeh said, O Prince of the Faithful, he who beat the 
lady is thy son El-Emin, who had heard of her beauty and 
loveliness : — and she proceeded to relate what had happened. 
The Khalifeh was astonished, and exclaimed. Praise be to 
God for the restoration of these two bitches which hath been 
effected through my means ! — and immediately he summoned 
before him his son El-Emin, and inquired of him the history 
of the lady ; and he related to him the truth. He then 
sent for Kadis and witnesses, and the first lady and her two 
sisters who had been transformed into bitches he married 
to the three mendicants who had related that they were the 
sons of Kings ; and these he made chamberlains of his 
court, appointing them all that they required, and allotting 
them apartments in the palace of Baghdad. The lady who 
had been beaten he restored to his son El-Emin, giving her 
a large property, and ordering that the house should be 
rebuilt in a more handsome style. Lastly, the lady cateress 
he took as his own wife; he admitted her at once to his 
own apartment, and, on the following day, he appointed 
her a separate lodging for herself, with female slaves to wait 
upon her: he also allotted to her a regular income; and 
afterwards built for her a palace. 

[Nights 24 — 5^] 
The Story of the Humpback 

THERE was, in ancient times, in the city of El-Basrah, a 
tailor who enjoyed an ample income, and was fond of 
sport and merriment. He was in the habit of going out 
occasionally with his wife, that they might amuse themselves 
with strange and diverting scenes ; and one day they went 
forth in the afternoon, and, returning home in the evening, 
met a humpbacked man, whose aspect was such as to excite 
laughter in the angry, and to dispel anxiety and grief: so 
they approached him to enjoy the pleasure of gazing at him, 
and invited him to return with them to their house, and to 
join with them in a carousal that night. 

He assented to their proposal; and after he had gone 
with them to the house, the tailor went out to the market ; 
night having then approached. He bought some fried fish, 
and bread and limes and sweetmeat, and, returning wnth 
them, placed the fish before the humpback, and they sat 
down to eat; and the tailor's wife took a large piece of fish, 
and crammed the humpback with it, and, closing his mouth 
with her hand, said. By Allah, thou shalt not swallow it but 
by gulping it at once, and I will not give thee time to chew 
it. He therefore swallowed it; but it contained a large and 
sharp bone, which stuck across in his throat, his destiny 
having so determined, and he expired. The tailor exclaimed. 
There is no strength nor power but in God, the High, the 
Great ! Alas, that this poor creature should not have died 
but in this manner by our hands! — Wherefore this idling? 
exclaimed the woman. — And what can I do? asked her hus- 
band. — Arise, she answered, and take him in thy bosom, and 
cover him with a silk napkin: I will go out first, and do thou 
follow me, this very night, and say. This is my son, and this 



is his mother ; and we are going to convey him to the 
physician, that he may give him some medicine. 

No sooner had the tailor heard these wor.ds than he arose, 
and took the humpback in his bosom. His wife, accompany- 
ing him, exclaimed, O my child ! may Allah preserve thee ! 
Where is the part in which thou feelest pain; and where 
hath this small-pox attacked thee? — So every one who saw 
them said, They are conveying a child smitten with the 
small-pox. Thus they proceeded, inquiring, as they went, 
for the abode of the physician; and the people directed them 
to the house of a physician who was a Jew; and they 
knocked at the door, and there came down to them a black 
slave-girl, who opened the door, and beheld a man carrying 
(as she imagined) a child, and attended by its mother; and 
she said. What is your business? — We have a child here, 
answered the tailor's wife, and we want the physician to see 
him: take, then, this quarter of a piece of gold, and give it 
to thy master, and let him come down and see my son; for 
he is ill. The girl, therefore, went up, and the tailor's wife, 
entering the vestibule, said to her husband, Leave the hump- 
back here, and let us take ourselves away. And the tailor, 
accordingly, set him up against the wall, and went out with 
his wife. 

The slave-girl, meanwhile, went in to the Jew, and said 
to him. Below, in the house, is a sick person, with a woman 
and a man : and they have given me a quarter of a piece of 
gold for thee, that thou mayest prescribe for them what may 
suit his case. And when the Jew saw the quarter of a piece 
of gold, he rejoiced, and, rising in haste, went down in the 
dark: and in doing so, his foot struck against the lifeless 
humpback. O Ezra ! he exclaimed — O Heavens and the Ten 
Commandments ! O Aaron, and Joshua son of Nun ! It 
seemeth that I have stumbled against this sick person, and 
he hath fallen down the stairs and died ! And how shall I 
go forth with one killed from my house ? O Ezra's ass !* 

^ 'Ozeyr, or Ezra, " riding on an ass by the ruins of Jerusalem, after it 
liad been destroyed by the Chaldeans, doubted in his mind by what means 
Hod could raise the city and its inhabitants again; whereupon God caused 
liim to die, and he remained in that condition a hundred years; at the end 
of which God restored him to life, and he found a basket of figs and a 
cruse of wine he had with him, not in the least spoiled or corrupted, but 
his ass was dead, the bones only remaining; and these, while the Prophet 


— He then raised him, and took him up from the court of 
the house to his wife, and acquainted her with the accident. 
— And why sittest thou here idle ? said she ; for if thou 
remain thus until daybreak our lives will be lost: let me 
and thee, then, take him up to the terrace, and throw him 
into the house of our neighbour the Muslim; for he is the 
steward of the Sultan's kitchen, and often do the cats come 
to his house, and eat of the food which they find there; as 
do the mice too; and if he remain there for a night, the 
dogs will come down to him from the terraces and eat him 
up entirely. So the Jew and his wife went up, carrying the 
humpback, and let him down by his hands and feet to the 
pavement ; placing him against the wall ; which having done, 
they descended. 

Not long had the humpback been thus deposited when the 
steward returned to his house, and opened the door, and, 
going up with a lighted candle in his hand, found a son of 
Adam standing in the corner next the kitchen ; upon which 
he exclaimed. What is this? By Allah, the thief that hath 
stolen our goods is none other than a son of Adam, who 
taketh what he findeth of flesh or grease, even though I 
keep it concealed from the cats and the dogs; and if I 
killed all the cats and dogs of the quarter it would be of no 
use; for he cometh down from the terraces! — And so saying, 
he took up a great mallet, and struck him with it, and then, 
drawing close to him, gave him a second blow with it upon 
the chest, when the humpback fell down, and he found that 
he was dead ; whereupon he grieved, and said. There is no 
strength nor power but in God! And he feared for himself, 
and exclaimed. Curse upon the grease and the flesh, and 
upon this night, in which the destiny of this man hath been 
accomplished by my hand! Then, looking upon him, and 
perceiving that he was a humpback, he said. Is it not enough 
that thou art humpbacked, but must thou also be a robber, 
and steal the flesh and the grease? O Protector, cover me 
with thy gracious shelter ! — And he lifted him upon his 
shoulders, and descended, and went forth from the house, 
towards the close of the night, and stopped not until he 

looked on. were raised and cloathed with flesh, becominfr an ass again, 
which, being inspired with life, began immediately to bray." — Sale's Koran, 
ch. ii., note [p. 31, ed. 1734]. 


had conveyed him to the commencement of the market- 
street, where he placed him upon his feet by the side of a 
shop at the entrance of a lane, and there left him and retired. 

Soon after there came a Christian, the Sultan's broker, 
who, in a state of intoxication, had come forth to visit the 
bath ; and he advanced staggering, until he drew near to 
the humpback, when he turned his eyes, and beheld one 
standing by him. Now, some persons had snatched off his 
turban early in the night, and when he saw the humpback 
standing there, he concluded that he intended to do the 
same ; so he clenched his fist, and struck him on the neck. 
Down fell the humpback upon the ground, and the Christian 
called out to the watchman of the market, while, still in the 
excess of his intoxication, he continued beating the hump- 
back, and attempting to throttle him. As he was thus em- 
ployed, the watchman came, and, finding the Christian 
kneeling upon the Muslim and beating him, said, Arise, and 
quit him ! He arose, therefore, and the watchman, approach- 
ing the humpback, saw that he was dead, and exclaimed. 
How is that the Christian dareth to kill the IMuslim? 
Then seizing the Christian, he bound his hands behind him, 
and took him to the house of the Wali ;" the Christian saying 
within himself, O Heavens ! O Virgin ! how have I killed 
this man? and how quickly did he die from a blow of the 
hand ! — Intoxication had departed, and reflection had come. 

The humpback and the Christian passed the remainder 
of the night in the house of the Wali, and the Wali ordered 
the executioner to proclaim the Christian's crime, and he 
set up a gallows, and stationed him beneath it. The execu- 
tioner then came, and threw the rope round his neck, and 
was about to hang him, when the Sultan's steward pushed 
through the crowd, seeing the Christian standing beneath 
the gallows, and the people made way for him, and he said 
to the executioner, Do it not, for it was I who killed him. — 
Wherefore didst thou kill him ? said the Wali. He answered, 
I went into my house last night, and saw that he had de- 
scended from the terrace and stolen my goods; so I struck 
him with a mallet upon his chest, and he died, and I carried 
him out, and conveyed him to the market-street, where I set 

* Chief police magistrate. 


him up in such a place, at the entrance of such a lane. Is 
it not enough for me to have killed a Muslim, that a Chris- 
tian should be killed on my account? Hang, then, none 
but me. — The Wali, therefore, when he heard these words, 
liberated the Christian broker, and said to the executioner. 
Hang this man, on the ground of his confession. And he 
took off the rope from the neck of the Christian, and put 
it round the neck of the steward, and having stationed him 
beneath the gallows, was about to hang him, when the 
Jewish physician pushed through the crowd, and called out 
to the executioner, saying to him. Do it not; for none killed 
him but I ; and the case was this : he came to my house to be 
cured of a disease, and as I descended to him I struck against 
him with my foot, and he died: kill not the steward, there- 
fore; but kill me. So the Wali gave orders to hang the 
Jewish physician; and the executioner took off the rope 
from the steward's neck, and put it round the neck of the 
Jew. But, lo, the tailor came, and, forcing his way among 
the people, said to the executioner, Do it not; for none killed 
him but I ; and it happened thus : I was out amusing myself 
during the day, and as I was returning at the commencement 
of the night, I met this humpback in a state of intoxication, 
with a tambourine, and singing merrily ; and I stopped to 
divert myself by looking at him, and took him to my house. 
I then bought some fish, and we sat down to eat, and my 
wife took a piece of fish and a morsel of bread, and crammed 
them into his mouth, and he was choked, and instantly died. 
Then I and my wife took him to the house of the Jew, and 
the girl came down and opened the door, and while she 
went up to her master, I set up the humpback by the stairs, 
and went away with my wife: so, when the Jew came down 
and stumbled against him, he thought that he had killed him. 
— And he said to the Jew, Is this true? He answered. Yes. 
The tailor, then looking towards the Wali, said to him. 
Liberate the Jew, and hang me. And when the Wali heard 
this he was astonished at the case of the humpback, and 
said. Verily this is an event that should be recorded in 
books ! And he said to the executioner, Liberate the Jew, 
and hang the tailor on account of his own confession. So 
the executioner led him forward, saying, Dost thou put for- 


ward this and take back that; and shall we not hang one? 
And he put the rope round the neck of the tailor. 

Now the humpback was the Sultan's buffoon, and the 
Sultan could not bear him to be out of his sight; and when 
the humpback had got drunk, and been absent that night and 
the next day until noon, the King inquired respecting him 
of some of his attendants, and they answered him, O our 
lord, the Wali hath taken him forth dead, and gave orders 
to hang the person who killed him, and there came a second 
and a third person, each saying. None killed him but I: — 
and describing to the Wali the cause of his killing him. 
When the King, therefore, heard this, he called out to the 
Chamberlain, and said to him. Go down to the Wali, and 
bring them all hither before me. So the Chamberlain went 
down, and found that the executioner had almost put to 
death the tailor, and he called out to him, saying, Do it 
not : — and informed the Wali that the case had been reported 
to the King. And he took him, and the humpback borne 
with him, and the tailor and the Jew and the Christian and 
the steward, and went up with them all to the King; and 
when the Wali came into the presence of the King, he kissed 
the ground, and related to him all that had happened. And 
the King was astonished, and was moved with merriment, 
at hearing this tale; and he commanded that it should be 
written in letters of gold. He then said to those who were 
present, Have ye ever heard anything like the story of this 
humpback? And upon this the Christian advanced, and 
said, O King of the age, if thou permit me I will relate to 
thee an event that hath occurred to me more wonderful and 
strange and exciting than the story of the humpback. — Tell 
us then thy story, said the King. And the Christian related 
as follows: — 

The Story Told by the Christian Broker 

Know, O King of the age, that I came to this country 
with merchandise, and destiny stayed me among your people. 
I was born in Cairo, and am one of its Copts, and there I 
was brought up. My father was a broker ; and when I had 
attained to manhood, he died, and I succeeded to his busi- 


ness; and as I was sitting one day, lo, a young man of most 
handsome aspect, and clad in a dress of the richest descrip- 
tion, came to me, riding upon an ass, and when he saw mc, 
saluted me; whereupon I rose to him, to pay him honour, 
and he produced a handkerchief containing some sesame, and 
said, What is the value of an ardebb'' of this? I answered 
him, A hundred pieces of silver. And he said to me. Take 
the carriers and the measurers, and repair to the Khan of 
El-Ja\vali in the district of Bab en-Xasr * there wiU thou 
find me. And he left me and went his way, after having 
given me the handkerchief with the sample of the sesame. 
So I went about to the purchasers ; and the price of each 
ardebb amounted to a hundred and twenty pieces of silver; 
and I took with me four carriers, and went to him. I found 
him waiting my arrival ; and when he saw me he rose and 
opened a magazine, and we measured its contents, and the 
whole amounted to fifty ardebbs. The young man then said, 
Thou shalt have, for every ardebb, ten pieces of silver as 
brokerage; and do thou receive the price and keep it in tliy 
care: the whole sum will be five thousand; and thy share of 
it, five hundred: so there will remain for me four thousand 
and five hundred; and when I shall have finished the sale of 
the goods contained in my store-room, I will come to thee 
and receive it. T replied, It shall be as thou desirest. And 
I kissed his hand, and left him. Thus there accrued to me, 
on that day, a thousand pieces of silver, [besides my 

He was absent from me a month, at the expiration of 
which he came and said to me, Where is the money? I 
answered. Here it is, ready. And he said. Keep it until I 
come to thee to receive it. And I remained expecting him ; 
but he was absent from me another month ; after which he 
came again, and said, Where is the money ? Whereupon I 
arose and saluted him, and said to him. Wilt thou eat some- 
thing with us? He, however, declined, and said. Keep the 
money until I shall have gone and returned to receive it 

^ In Cairo, nearly five bushels. 

* " Gate of Victory or of .'\id:" the easternmost of the northern gates of 
Cairo built in 1088. Tlic Khan referred to is mentioned by El-Makrizi as 
being situated at a short distance within the present gate and by the site 
of the older gate of the same name, and as existing in bis time [141 7J. 


from thee. He then departed ; and I arose, and prepared 
for him the money, and sat expecting him ; but again he 
absented himself from me for a month, and then came and 
said, After this day I will receive it from thee. And he 
departed, and I made ready the money for him as before, and 
sat waiting his return. Again, however, he remained a 
month absent from me, and I said within myself. Verily this 
young man is endowed with consummate liberality ! After 
the month he came, attired in rich clothing, and resembling 
the full moon, appearing as if he had just come out of the 
bath, with red cheek and fair forehead, and a mole like a 
globule of ambergris. When I beheld him I kissed his hand, 
and invoked a blessing upon him, and said to him, O my 
master, wilt thou not take thy money? — Have patience with 
me, he answered, until I shall have transacted all my affairs, 
after which I will receive it from thee. And so saying, he 
departed; and I said within myself, By Allah, when he comcth 
I will entertain him as a guest, on account of the profit which 
I have derived from his money; for great wealth hath ac- 
crued to me from it. 

At the close of the year he returned, clad in a dress richer 
than the former ; and I swore to him that he should alight 
to be my guest. — On the condition, he replied, that thou ex- 
pend nothing of my money that is in thy possession. I said, 
Well : — and, having seated him, prepared what was requisite 
of meats and drinks and other provisions, and placed them 
before him, saying. In the name of Allah ! And he drew near 
to the table, and put forth his left hand, and thus ate with me : 
so I was surprised at him f and when we had finished he 
washed his hand, and I gave him a napkin with which to 
wipe it. We then sat down to converse, and I said, O my 
master, dispel a trouble from my mind. Wherefore didst thou 
eat with thy left hand? Probably something paineth thee in 
thy right hand? — On hearing these words, he stretched forth 
his arm from his sleeve, and behold, it was maimed — an arm 
without a hand ! And I wondered at this ; but he said to me, 
Wonder not ; nor say in thy heart that I ate with thee with 
my left hand from a motive of self-conceit; for rather to be 
wondered at is the cause of the cutting off of my right hand. 

^ The Arabs consider it indecorous to eat with the left hand. 


And what, said I, was the cause of it? He answered 
thus : — 

Know that I am from Baghdad : my father was one of the 
chief people of that city; and when I had attained the age of 
manhood, I heard the wanderers and travellers and merchants 
conversing respecting the land of Egypt, and their words re- 
mained in my heart until my father died, when I took large 
sums of money, and prepared merchandise consisting of the 
stuffs of Baghdad and of El-Mosil, and similar precious 
goods, and, having packed them up, journeyed from Baghdad; 
and God decreed me safety until I entered this your city. 
And so saying, he wept, and repeated these verses:-^ 

The blear-eyed escapeth a pit into which the clear-sighted falleth ; 
And the ignorant, an expression by which the shrewd sage is ruined. 
The believer can scarce earn his food, while the impious infidel is 

What art or act can a man devise ? It is what the Almighty 

appointeth ! 

I entered Cairo, continued the young man, and deposited 
the stuffs in the Khan of Mesrur,' and, having unbound my 
packages and put them in the magazines, gave to the ser- 
vant some money to buy for us something to eat, after which 
I slept a little ; and when I arose, I went to Beyn el-Kasreyn. 
I then returned, and passed the night; and in the morning 
following, I opened a bale of stuff, and said within myself, 
I will arise and go through some of the market-streets, and 
see the state of the mart. So I took some stuff, and made 
some of my servants carry it, and proceeded until I arrived 
at the Keysariyeh^ of Jaharkas, where the brokers came to me. 
having heard of my arrival, and took from me the stuff, and 
cried it about for sale ; but the price bidden amounted not to 
the prime cost. And upon this the Sheykh of the brokers 
said to me, O my master, I know a plan by which thou mayest 
profit; and it is this: that thou do as other merchants, and 
sell thy merchandise upon credit for a certain period, employ- 
ing a scrivener and a witness and a money-changer, and re- 
ceive a portion of the profits every Thursday and Monday ; so 
shalt thou make of every piece of silver two ; and besides that, 

• [In the Beyn cl-Kasreyn or " Betwixt the Palaces," by the present Suk 
en-Nahhasin. See Lane-Poole, Story of Cairo (1902), pp. 266-270.] 
' A superior kind of suk or market. 


thou wilt be able to enjoy the amusements afforded by Egypt 
and its Nile, — The advice is judicious, I replied: and accord- 
ingly I took the brokers with me to the Khan, and they con- 
veyed the stufifs to the Keysariyeh, where I sold it to the 
merchants, writing a bond in their names, which I committed 
to the money-changer, and taking from him a corresponding 
bond. I then returned to the Khan, and remained there some 
days ; and every day I took for my breakfast a cup of wine, 
and had mutton and sweetmeats prepared for me, until the 
month in which I became entitled to the receipt of the profits, 
when I seated myself every Thursday and Monday at the 
shops of the merchants, and the money-changer went with 
the scrivener and brought me the money. 

Thus did I until one day I went to the bath and returned 
to the Khan, and, entering my lodging, took for my break- 
fast a cup of wine, and then slept ; and when I awoke I ate 
a fowl, and perfumed myself with essence, and repaired to 
the shop of a merchant named Bedr-ed-Din the Gardener, 
who, when he saw me, welcomed me, and conversed with 
me a while in his shop; and as we were thus engaged, lo, a 
female came and seated herself by my side. She wore a 
headkerchief inclined on one side, and the odours of sweet 
perfumes were diffused from her, and she captivated my 
reason by her beauty and loveliness as she raised her izar 
and I beheld her black eyes. She saluted Bedr-ed-Din, and 
he returned her salutation, and stood conversing with her; 
and when I heard her speech, love for her took entire pos- 
session of my heart. She then said to Bedr-ed-Din, Hast 
thou a piece of stuff woven with pure gold thread? And he 
produced to her a piece ; and she said, May I take it and go, 
and then send thee the price? But he answered, It is im- 
possible, O my mistress ; for this is the owner of the stuff, 
and I owe him a portion of the profit. — Woe to thee ! said she : 
it is my custom to take of thee each piece of stuff for a con- 
siderable sum of money, giving thee a gain beyond thy wish, 
and then to send thee the price. — Yes, he rejoined; but I am 
in absolute want of the price this day. And upon this she 
took the piece and threw it back to him upon his breast, say- 
ing, Verily your class knows not how to respect any person's 
rank! And she arose, and turned away. I felt then as if 


my soul went with her, and, rising upon my feet, I said to 
her, O my mistress, kindly bestow a look upon me, and retrace 
thine honoured steps. And she returned, and smiled and said, 
For thy sake I return. And she sat opposite me upon the seat 
of the shop; and I said to Bedr-ed-Din, What is the price that 
thou hast agreed to give for this piece ? He answered, Eleven 
hundred pieces of silver. And I said to him, Thy profit shall 
be a hundred pieces of silver: give me then a paper, and I 
will write for thee the price upon it. I then took the piece of 
stuff from him, and wrote him the paper with my own hand> 
and gave the piece of stuff to the lady, saying to her, Take 
it and go; and if thou wilt, bring the price to me in the 
market; or, if thou wilt, it shall be my present to thee. She 
replied, God recompense thee, and bless thee with my prop- 
erty, and make thee my husband; and may God accept this 
prayer ! — O my mistress, said I, let this piece of stuff be thine, 
and another like it, and permit me to see thy face. And upon 
this she raised her veil ; and when I beheld her face, the 
sight drew from me a thousand sighs, and my heart was en- 
tangled by her love, so that I no longer remained master of 
my reason. She then lowered the veil again, and took the 
piece of stuff, saying, O my master, leave me not desolate. 
So she departed, while I continued sitting in the market- 
street until pagt the hour of afternoon-prayer, with wandering 
mind, overpowered by love. In the excess of my passion, 
before I rose I asked the merchant respecting her; and he 
answered me, She is a rich lady, the daughter of a deceased 
Emir, who left her great property. 

I then took leave of him, and returned to the Khan, and 
the supper was placed before me; but, reflecting upon her, 
I could eat nothing. I laid myself down to rest; but sleep 
came not to me, and I remained awake until the morning, 
when I arose and put on a suit of clothing dift'erent from 
that which I had worn the day before; and, having drunk 
a cup of wine, and eaten a few morsels as my breakfast, 
repaired again to the shop of the merchant, and saluted him, 
and sat down with him. The lady soon came, wearing a 
dress more rich than the former, and attended by a slave- 
girl ; and she seated herself, and saluted me instead of 
Bedr-ed-Din, and said, with an eloquent tongue which I had 


never heard surpassed in softness or sweetness, Send with me 
some one to receive the twelve hundred pieces of silver, the 
price of the piece of stufif. — Wherefore, said I, this haste? 
She replied, May we never lose thee ! And she handed to 
me the price ; and I sat conversing with her, and made a sign 
to her, which she understood, intimating my wish to visit 
her: whereupon she rose in haste, expressing displeasure at 
my hint. My heart clung to her, and I followed in the direc- 
tion of her steps through the market-street; and lo, a slave- 
girl came to me, and said, O my master, answer the summons 
of my mistress. Wondering at this, I said. No one here 
knoweth me. — How soon, she rejoined, hast thou forgotten 
her ! My mistress is she who was to-day at the shop of the 
merchant Bedr-ed-Din. — So I went with her until we arrived 
at the money-changer's ; and when her mistress, who was 
there, beheld me, she drew me to her side, and said, O my 
beloved, thou hast wounded my heart, and love of thee hath 
taken possession of it ; and from the time that I first saw 
thee, neither sleep nor food nor drink hath been pleasant to 
me. I replied, And more than that do I feel ; and the state in 
which I am needs no complaint to testify it. — Then shall I 
visit thee, O my beloved, she asked, or wilt thou come to me ? 
[For our marriage must be a secret.] — I am a stranger, I an- 
swered, and have no place of reception but the Khan; there- 
fore, if thou wilt kindly permit me to go to thine abode, the 
pleasure will be perfect. — Well, she replied; but to-night is 
the eve of Friday, and let nothing be done till to-morrow, 
when, after thou hast joined in the prayers, do thou mount 
thine ass, and inquire for the Habbaniyeh ; and when thou 
hast arrived there, ask for the house called the Ka'ah of 
Barakat the Nakib,'* known by the surname of Abu-Shameh; 
for there do I reside ; and delay not ; for I shall be anxiously 
expecting thee. 

On hearing this I rejoiced exceedingly, and we parted; and 
I returned to the Khan in which I lodged. I passed the whole 
night sleepless, and was scarcely sure that the daybreak had 
appeared when I rose and changed my clothes, and, having 
perfumed myself with essences and sweet scents, took with 
me fifty pieces of gold in a handkerchief, and walked from the 

. 8 Chief. 


Khan of Mesrur to Bab Zuweyleh,' where I mounted an ass, 
and said to its owner, Go with me to the Habbaniyeh. And in 
less than the twinkling of an eye he set off, and soon he 
stopped at a by-street called Darb El-]\Innakkiri, when I said 
to him, Enter the street, and inquire for the Ka'ah of the 
Nakib. He was absent but a little while, and, returning, said. 
Alight. — Walk on before me, said I, to the Ka'ah. And he 
went on until he had led me to the house; whereupon I said 
to him. To-morrow come to me hither to convey me back. — • 
In the name of Allah, he replied: and I handed to him a 
quarter of a piece of gold, and he took it and departed. I 
then knocked at the door, and there came forth to me two 
young virgins in whom the forms of womanhood had just 
developed themselves, resembling two moons, and they said, 
Enter; for our mistress is expecting thee, and she hath not 
slept last night from her excessive love for thee. I entered 
an upper saloon with seven doors: around it were latticed 
windows looking upon a garden in which were fruits of every 
kind, and running streams and singing birds : it was plastered 
with imperial gypsum, in which a man might see his face 
reflected: its roof was ornamented with gilding, and sur- 
rounded by inscriptions in letters of gold upon a ground of 
ultramarine: it comprised a variety of beauties, and shone 
in the eyes of beholders: the pavement was of coloured 
marbles, having in the midst of it a fountain, with four 
snakes of red gold casting forth water from their mouths 
like pearls and jewels at the corners of the pool; and it was 
furnished with carpets of coloured silk, and mattresses. 

Having entered, I seated myself; and scarcely had I done 
so when the lady approached me. She wore a crown set with 
pearls and jewels; her hands and feet were stained w'ith 
henna; and her bosom was ornamented with gold. As soon 
as she beheld me she smiled in my face, and embraced me, 
saying, Is it true that thou hast come to me, or is this a 
dream? — I am thy slave, I answered: and she said. Thou art 
welcome. Verily, from the time when I first saw thee, 
neither sleep hath been sweet to me nor hath food been 
pleasant! — In such case have / been, I replied: — and we sat 
down to converse ; but I hung down my head towards the 

* Or Zawilcli, the southern gate of (the original) Cairo. 


ground, in bashfulness; and not long had I thus remained 
when a repast was placed before me, consisting of the most 
exquisite dishes, as fricandoes and hashes and stufifed fowls. 
I ate with her until we were satisfied; when they brought the 
basin and ewer, and I washed my hands ; after which we 
perfumed ourselves with rose-water infused with musk, and 
sat down again to converse; expressing to each other our 
mutual passion ; and her love took such possession of me 
that all the wealth I possessed seemed worthless in comparison. 
In this manner we continued to enjoy ourselves until, night 
approaching, the female slaves brought supper and wine, a 
complete service ; and we drank imtil midnight. Never in my 
life had I passed such a night. And when morning came, I 
arose, and, having thrown to her the handkerchief containing 
the pieces of gold, I took leave of her and went out ; but as I 
did so she wept, and said, O my master, when shall I see 
again this lovely face? I answered her, I will be with thee 
at the commencement of the night. And when I went forth, 
I found the owner of the ass, who had brought me the day 
before, waiting for me at the door ; and I mounted, and re- 
turned with him to the Klian of Mesrur, where I alighted, 
and gave to him half a piece of gold, sa3'ing to him. Come 
hither at sunset. He replied. On the head be thy command. 

I entered the Khan, and ate my breakfast, and then went 
forth to collect the price of my stuffs; after which I returned. 
I had prepared for my wife a roasted lamb, and purchased 
some sweetmeat; and I now called the porter, described to 
him the house, and gave him his hire. Having done this, I 
occupied myself again with my business until sunset, when 
the owner of the ass came, and I took fifty pieces of gold, 
and put them into a handkerchief. Entering the house. I 
found that they had wiped the marble and polished the vessels 
of copper and brass, and filled the lamps and lighted the 
candles, and dished the supper and strained the wine ; and 
when my wife saw me, she threw her arms around my neck, 
and said, Thou hast made me desolate by thine absence ! 
The tables were then placed before us, and we ate until we 
were satisfied, and the slave-girls took away the first table, 
and placed before us the wine; and we sat drinking, and 
eating of the dried fruits, and making merry, until midnight. 


We then slept until morning, when I arose and handed her 
the fifty pieces of gold as before, and left her. 

Thus I continued to do for a long time, until I passed 
the night and awoke possessing not a piece of silver nor one 
of gold; and I said within myself. This is of the work of the 
Devil ! And I repeated these verses: — 

Poverty causeth the lustre of a man to grow dim, like the yellow- 
ness of the setting sun. 

When absent, he is not remembered among mankind ; and when 
present, he shareth not their pleasures. 

In the market-streets he shunneth notice; and in desert places he 
poureth forth his tears. 

By Allah ! a man, among his own relations, when afflicted with 
poverty, is as a stranger ! 

With these reflections I walked forth into Beyn el-Kasreyn, 
and proceeded thence to Bab Zuweyleh, where I found the 
people crowding together, so that the gate was stopped up 
by their number ; and, as destiny willed, I saw there a trooper, 
and, unintentionally pressing against him, my hand came in 
contact with his pocket, and I felt it, and found that it con- 
tamed a purse; and I caught hold of the purse, and took it 
from his pocket. But the trooper felt that his pocket was 
lightened, and, putting his hand into it, found nothing; upon 
which he looked aside at me, and raised his hand with the 
mace, and struclc me upon my head. I fell to the ground, 
and the people surrounded us, and seized the bridle of the 
trooper's horse, saying, On account of the crowd dost thou 
strike this young man such a blow ? But he called out to them 
and said, This is a robber ! On hearing this I feared. The 
people around me said. This is a comely young man, and hath 
taken nothing. While some, however, believed this, others 
disbelieved; and after many words, the people dragged me 
along, desiring to liberate me : but, as it was predestined, there 
came at this moment the Wali and other magistrates entering 
the gate, and, seeing the people surrounding me and the 
trooper, the Wali said. What is the news? The trooper an- 
swered, By Allah, O Emir, this is a robber: I had in my 
pocket a blue purse containing twenty pieces of gold; and he 
took it while I was pressed by the crowd. — Was any one with 
thee? asked the Wali. The trooper answered, No. And the 


Wall called out to the chief of his servants, saying, Seiiie him 
and search him. So he seized me; and protection was with- 
drawn from me; and the Wali said to him, Strip him of all 
that is upon him. And when he did so, they found the purse 
in my clothes : and the Wali, taking it. counted the money, 
and found it to be twenty pieces of gold, as the trooper had 
said; whereupon he was enraged, and called out to his attend- 
ants, saying. Bring him forward. They, therefore, brought 
me before him, and he said to me, O young man, tell the 
truth. Didst thou steal this purse? — And I hung down my 
head towards the ground, saying within myself, If I answer 
that I did not steal it, it will be useless, for he hath produced 
it from my clothes; and if I say I stole it, I fall into trouble. 
I then raised my head, and said, Yes, I took it. And when 
the Wali heard these words, he wondered, and called wit- 
nesses, who presented themselves, and gave their testimony 
to my confession. — All this took place at Bab Zuweyleh. — 
The Wali then ordered the executioner to cut off my hand ; 
and he cut of my right hand; but the heart of the trooper 
was moved with compassion for me, and he interceded for 
me that I should not be killed: so the Wali left me and de- 
parted. The people however continued around me, and gave 
me to drink a cup of wine ; and the trooper gave me the 
purse, saying. Thou art a comely youth, and it is not fit that 
thou shouldst be a thief. And I took it from him, and 
addressed him with these verses: — 

By Allah ! good sir, I was not a robber ; nor was I a thief, O best 

of mankind ! 
But fortune's vicissitudes overthrew me suddenly, and anxiety and 

trouble and poverty overpowered me. 
I cast it not ; but it was the Deity who cast an arrow that threw 

down the kingly diadem from my head. 

The trooper then left me and departed, after having given 
me the purse, and I went my way; but first I wrapped my 
hand in a piece of rag, and put it in my bosom. My condition 
thus altered, and my countenance pallid in consequence of my 
sufferings, I walked to the Ka'ah, and, in a disordered state of 
mind, threw myself upon the bed. My wife, seeing my com- 
plexion thus changed, said to me, What hath pained thee, and 
wherefore do I see thee thus altered? I answered her, My 


head acheth, and I am not well. And on hearing this she 
was vexed, and became ill on my account, and said, Burn 
not my heart, O my master ! Sit up, and raise thy head, and 
tell me what hath happened to thee this day; for I read a 
tale in thy face. — Abstain from speaking to me, I replied. 
And she wept, and said, it seemeth that thou art tired of 
us; for I see thee to be conducting thyself in a manner con- 
trary to thy usual habit. Then she wept again, and continued 
addressing me, though I made her no reply, until the approach 
of night, when she placed some food before me; but T ab- 
stained from it, fearing that she should see me eat with my 
left hand, and said, I have no desire to eat at present. She 
then said again, Tell me what hath happened to thee this 
day, and wherefore I see thee anxious and broken-hearted. I 
answered, I will presently tell thee at my leisure. And she 
put the wine towards me, saying. Take it ; for it will dispel 
thine anxiety ; and thou must drink, and tell me thy story. I 
replied, therefore. If it must be so, give me to drink with thy 
hand. And she filled a cup and drank it; and tlien filled it 
again and handed it to me, and I took it from her with my 
left hand, and, while tears ran from my eyes, I repeated these 
verses : — 

When God willeth an event lo befall a man who is endowed with 

reason and hearing and sight, 
He deafeneth his ears, and blindeth his heart, and draweth his 

reason from him as a hair. 
Till, having fulfilled his purpose against him, He restoreth him his 

reason that he may be admonished. 

Having thus said, I wept again; and when she saw me 
do so, she uttered a loud cry, and said. What is the reason 
of thy weeping? Thou hast burned my heart! And where- 
fore didst thou take the cup with thy left hand? — I answered 
her, I have a boil upon my right hand. — Then put it forth, 
said she, that I may open it for thee. — It is not yet, I replied, 
the proper time for opening it ; and continue not to ask me ; 
for I will not put it forth at present. I then drank the con- 
tents of the cup, and she continued to hand me the wine until 
intoxication overcame me, and I fell asleep in the place 
where I was sitting ; upon which she discovered that my right 


arm was without a hand, and, searching me, saw the purse 
containing the gold. 

Grief, such as none else experienceth, overcame her at the 
sight; and she suffered incessant torment on my account until 
the morning, when I awoke, and found that she had pre- 
pared for me a dish composed of four boiled fowls, which 
she placed before me. She then gave me to drink a cup 
of wine ; and I ate and drank, and put down the purse, and 
was about to depart ; but she said, Whither wouldst thou go ? 
I answered. To such a place, to dispel somewhat of the 
anxiety which oppresseth my heart. — Go not, said she; but 
rather sit down again. So I sat down, and she said to me. 
Hath thy love of me become so excessive that thou hast ex- 
pended all thy wealth upon me, and lost thy hand ? I take thee, 
then, as witness against me, and God also is witness, that 
I will never desert thee; and thou shalt see the truth of my 
words, — Immediately, therefore, she sent for witnesses, who 
came; and she said to them, Write my contract of marriage 
to this young man, and bear witness that I have received the 
dowry. And they did as she desired them; after which she 
said. Bear witness that all my property which is in this chest, 
and all my memluks and female slaves, belong to this young 
man. Accordingly, they declared themselves witnesses of her 
declaration, and I accepted the property, and they departed 
after they had received their fees. She then took me by my 
hand, and, having led me to a closet, opened a large chest, 
and said to me, See what is containeth in this chest. I looked, 
therefore; and lo, it was full of handkerchiefs; and she said, 
This is thy property, which I have received from thee: for 
every time that thou gavest me a handkerchief containing 
fifty pieces of gold, I wrapped it up, and threw it into this 
chest: take, then, thy property; for God hath restored it to 
thee, and thou art now of high estate. Fate hath afflicted 
thee on my account so that thou hast lost thy right hand, and 
I am unable to compensate thee: if I should sacrifice my life, 
it would be but a small thing, and thy generosity would still 
have surpassed mine. — She then added, Now take possession 
of thy property. So I received it ; and she transferred the 
contents of her chest to mine, adding her property to mine 
which I had given her. My heart rejoiced, my anxiety 


ceased, and I approached and kissed her, and made myself 
merry by drinking with her ; after which she said again, Thou 
hast sacrificed all thy wealth and thy hand through love of 
me, and how can I compensate thee? By Allah, if I gave my 
life for love of thee, it were but a small thing, and I should 
not do justice to thy claims upon me. — She then wrote a deed 
of gift transferring to me all her apparel, and her ornaments 
of gold and jewels, and her houses and other possessions; and 
she passed that night in grief on my account, having heard 
my relation of the accident that had befallen me. 

Thus we remained less than a month, during which time 
she became more and more infirm and disordered; and she 
endured no more than fifty days before she was numbered 
among the people of the other world. So I prepared her 
funeral, and deposited her body in the earth, and having 
caused recitations of the Kur'an to be performed for her, and 
given a considerable sum of money in alms for her sake, re- 
turned from the tomb. I found that she had possessed abun- 
dant wealth, and houses and lands, and among her property 
were the store-rooms of sesame of which I sold to thee the 
contents of one ; and I was not prevented from settling with 
thee during this period but by my being busied in selling the 
remainder, the price of which I have not yet entirely re- 
ceived. Now I desire of thee that thou wilt not oppose me in 
that which I am about to say to thee; since I have eaten of 
thy food: I gi\^e thee the price of the sesame, which is in 
thy hands. — This which I have told thee was the cause of 
my eating with my left hand. 

I replied, Thou hast treated me with kindness and gen- 
erosity: — and he then said. Thou must travel with me to my 
country: for I have bought merchandise of Cairo and Alex- 
andria. Wilt thou accompany me? — I answered, Yes: — and 
promised him that I would be ready by the first day of the 
following month. So I sold all that I possessed, and, having 
bought merchandise with the produce, travelled with the 
young man to this thy country, where he sold his merchandise 
and bought other in its stead, after which he returned to the 
land of Egypt: but it was my lot to remain here, and to ex- 
perience that which hath befallen me this night during my 
absence from my native country. — Now is not this, O King 


of the age, more Avondcrful than the story of the humpback? 
The King replied, Ye must be hanged, all of you ! — And 
upon this, the Sultan's steward advanced towards the King, 
ai d said. If thou permit me. I will relate to thee a story 
that I happened to hear just before I found this humpback; 
and if it be more wonderful than the events relating to him, 
wilt thou grant us our lives? — The King answered. Tell thy 
story : — and he began thus : — 

The Story Told by the Sultan's Steward 

I WAS last night with a party who celebrated a recitation 
of the Kur'an, for which purpose they had assembled the 
professors of religion and law; and when these reciters had 
accomplished their task, the servants spread a repast, com- 
prising among other dishes a zirbajeh. We approached, 
therefore, to eat of the zirbajeh; but one of the company 
drew back, and refused to partake of it: we conjured him; 
yet he swore that he would not eat of it: and we pressed 
him again; but he said, Press me not; for I have suffered 
enough from eating of this dish. And when he had finished, 
we said to him, By Allah, tell us the reason of thine abstain- 
ing from eating of this zirbajeh. He replied, Because I 
cannot eat of it imless I wash my hands forty times with 
kali, and forty times with cyperus, and forty times with soap ; 
altogether, a hundred and twenty times. And upon this, 
the giver of the entertainment ordered his servants, and they 
brought water and the other things which this man required: 
so he washed his hands as he had described, and advanced, 
though with disgust, and, having seated himself, stretched 
forth his hand as one in fear, and put it into the zirbajeh, 
and began to eat, while we regarded him with the utmost 
wonder. His hand trembled, and when he put it forth, we 
saw that his thumb was cut off, and that he ate with his four 
fingers: we therefore said to him. We conjure thee, by Allah, 
to tell us how was thy thumb maimed; was it thus created 
by God, or hath some accident happened to it? — O my 
brothers, he answered, not only have I lost this thumb, 
but also the thumb of the other hand; and each of my feet 
is in like manner deprived of the great toe : but see ye : — 


and, so saying, he uncovered the stump of the thumb of 
his other hand, and we found it hke the right; and so also 
his feet, destitute of the great toes. At the sight of this, 
our wonder increased, and we said to him, We are impatient 
to hear thy story, and thine account of the cause of the 
amputation of thy thumbs and great toes, and the reason 
of thy washing thy hands a hundred and twenty times. So 
he said, — 

Know that my father was a great merchant, the chief of 
the merchants of the city of Baghdad in the time of the 
Khalifch Harun Er-Rashid ; but he was ardently addicted to 
the drinking of wine, and hearing the lute; and when he 
died, he left nothing. I buried him, and caused recitations 
of the Kur'an to be performed for him, and, after I had 
mourned for him days and nights, I opened his shop, and 
found that he had left in it but few goods, and that his debts 
were many : however, I induced his creditors to wait, and 
calmed their minds, and betook myself to selling and buying 
from week to week, and so paying the creditors. 

Thus I continued to do for a considerable period, until 
I had discharged all the debts and increased my capital ; 
and as I was sitting one day, I beheld a young lady, than 
whom my eye had never beheld any more beautiful, decked 
with magnificent ornaments and apparel, riding on a mule, 
with a slave before her and a slave behind her ; and she 
stopped the mule at the entrance of the market-street, and 
entered, followed by a eunuch, who said to her, O my mis- 
tress, enter, but inform no one who thou art, lest thou open 
the fire of indignation upon us. The eunuch then further 
cautioned her; and when she looked at the shops of the 
merchants, she found none more handsome than mine ; so, 
when she arrived before me, with the eunuch following 
her, she sat down upon the seat of my shop, and saluted me ; 
and I never heard speech more charming than hers, or words 
more sweet. She then drew aside the veil from her face, 
and I directed at her a glance which drew from me a sigh ; 
my heart was captivated by her love, and I continued re- 
peatedly gazing at her face, and recited these two verses : — 

Say to the beauty in the dove-coloured veil, Death would indeed 
be welcome to relieve me from my torment. 


Favour me with a visit, that so I may live. See, I stretch forth 
my hand to accept thy liberality. 

And when she had heard my recitation of them, she answered 
thus : — 

May I lose my heart if it cease to love you I For verily my heart 

loveth none buf you. 
If my eye regard any charms but yours, may the sight of you never 

rejoice it after absence I 

She then said to me, O youth, hast thou any handsome stuffs? 
• — O ni}^ mistress, I answered, thy slave is a poor man; but 
wait until the other merchants open their shops, and then 
I will bring thee what thou desirest. So I conversed with 
her, drowned in the sea of her love, and bewildered by my 
passion for her, until the merchants had opened their shops, 
when I arose, and procured all that she wanted, and the 
price of these stuffs was five thousand pieces of silver: and 
she handed them all to the ernuch, who took them; after 
which, they both went out from the market-street, and the 
slaves brought to her the mule, and she mounted, without 
telling me whence she was, and I was ashamed to mention 
the subject to her: consequently, I became answerable for the 
price to the merchants, incurring a debt of five thousand 
pieces of silver. 

I went home, intoxicated with her love, and they placed 
before me the supper, and I ate a morsel ; but reflections upon 
her beauty and loveliness prevented my eating more. I 
desired to sleep, but sleep came not to me; and in this con- 
dition I remained for a week. The merchants demanded of 
me their money; but I prevailed upon them to w-ait another 
week; and after this week, the lady came again, riding upon 
a mule, and attended by a eunuch and two other slaves ; and, 
having saluted me, said, O my master, we have been tardy 
in bringing to thee the price of the stuffs: bring now the 
money-changer, and receive it. So the money-changer came, 
and the eunuch gave him the money, and I took it. and sat 
conversing with her until the market was replenished, and 
the merchants opened their shops, when she said to me. 
Procure for me such and such things. Accordingly, I pro- 
cured for her what she desired of the merchants, and she 


took the goods and departed without saying anything to me 
respecting the price. When she had gone, therefore, I re- 
pented of what I had done ; for I had procured for her what 
she demanded for the price of a thousand pieces of gold ; and 
as soon as she had disappeared from my sight, I said within 
myself. What kind of love is this? She hath brought me 
five thousand pieces of silver, and taken goods for a thousand 
pieces of gold ! — I feared that the result would be my bank- 
ruptcy and the loss of the property of others, and said, The 
merchants know none but me, and this woman is no other 
than a cheat, who hath imposed upon me by her beauty and 
loveliness: seeing me to be young, she hath laughed at me, 
and I asked her not where was her residence. 

I remained in a state of perplexity, and her absence was 
prolonged more than a month. Meanwhile the merchants 
demanded of me their money, and so pressed me that I 
offered my possessions for sale, and was on the brink of 
ruin ; but as I was sitting absorbed in reflection, suddenly 
she alighted at the gate of the market-street, and came in to 
me. As soon as I beheld her, my solicitude ceased, and I 
forgot the trouble which I had suffered. She approached, 
and addressed me with her agreeable conversation, and 
said. Produce the scales, and weigh thy money : — and she 
gave me the price of the goods which she had taken, with a 
surplus ; after which, she amused herself by talking with me, 
and I almost died with joy and happiness. She then said 
to me. Hast thou a wife? I answered, No: for I am not 
acquainted with any woman : and wept. So she asked me, 
What causeth thee to weep? And I answered, A thought 
that hath come into my mind: — and, taking some pieces of 
gold, gave them to the eunuch, requesting him to grant me 
his mediation in the affair; upon which he laughed, and said. 
She is in love with thee more than thou art with her, and 
hath no want of the stuffs, but hath done this only from her 
love of thee : propose to her, therefore, what thou wilt ; for 
she will not oppose thee in that which thou wilt say. Now 
she observed me giving the pieces of gold to the eunuch, and 
returned, and resumed her seat; and I said to her, Shew 
favour to thy slave, and pardon me for that which I am about 
to say. I then acquainted her with the feelings of my heart, 


and my declaration pleased her, and she consented to my 
proposal, saying, This eunuch will come with my letter ; 
and do thou what he shall tell thee; — and she arose, and 

I went to the merchants, and delivered to them their 
money, and all profited except myself; for when she left 
me I mourned for the interruption of our intercourse, and I 
slept not during the whole gf the next night : but a few 
days after, her eunuch came to me, and I received him with 
honour, and asked him respecting his mistress. He answered, 
She is sick : — and I said to him, Disclose to me her history. 
He replied, The lady Zubeydeh, the wife of Harun Er-Rashid, 
brought up this damsel, and she is one of her slaves : she 
had desired of her mistress to be allowed the liberty of 
going out and returning at pleasure, and the latter gave 
her permission : she continued, therefore, to do so until she 
became a chief confident; after which, she spoke of thee 
to her mistress, and begged that she would marry her to 
thee : but her mistress said, I will not do it until I see this 
young man, and if he have a desire for thee, I will marry 
thee to him. We therefore wish to introduce thee imme- 
diately into the palace ; and if thou enter without any one's 
having knowledge of thy presence, thou wilt succeed in 
accomplishing thy marriage with her ; but if thy plot be dis- 
covered, thy head will be struck off. What, then, sayest thou? 
— I answered. Good: I will go with thee, and await the event 
that shall befall me there. — As soon, then, as this next night 
shall have closed in, said the eunuch, repair to the mosque 
which the lady Zubeydeh hath built on the banks of the 
Tigris, and there say thy prayers, and pass the night. — Most 
willingly. I replied. 

Accordingly, when the time of nightfall arrived, I went 
to the mosque, and said my prayers there, and passed the 
night ; and as soon as the morning began to dawn I saw 
two eunuchs approaching in a small boat, conveying some 
empty chests, which they brought into the mosque. One 
of them then departed, and the other remained; and I 
looked attentively at him, and lo, it was he who had been 
our intermediary : and soon after, the damsel, my companion, 
came up to us. I rose to her when she approached, and 


embraced her ; and she kissed me. and wept ; and after we 
had conversed together for a little while, she took me and 
placed me in a chest, and locked it upon me. The slaves 
then brought a quantity of stuffs, and filled with them the 
other chests, which they locked, and conveyed, together 
with the chest in which I was enclosed, to the boat, accom- 
panied by the damsel ; and having embarked them, they 
plied the oars, and proceeded to the palace of the honoured 
lady Zubeydeh. The intoxication of love now ceased in 
me, and reflection came in its place : I repented of what I 
had done, and prayed God to deliver me from my dangerous 

Meanwhile, they arrived at the gate of the Khalifeh, 
where they landed, and took out all the chests, and con- 
veyed them into the palace: but the chief of the door- 
keepers, who had been asleep when they arrived, was awoke 
by the sounds of their voices, and cried out to the damsel, 
saying. The chests must be opened, that I may see what is 
in them : — and he arose, and placed his hand upon the chest 
in which I was hidden. My reason abandoned me, my heart 
almost burst from my body, and my limbs trembled; but 
the damsel said, These are the chests of the lady Zubeydeh, 
and if thou open them and turn them over, she will be 
incensed against thee, and we shall all perish. They con- 
tain nothing but clothes dyed of various colours, except this 
chest upon which thou hast put thy hand, in which there 
are also some bottles filled with the water of Zemzem,^" and 
if any of the water run out upon the clothes it will spoil their 
colours. Now I have advised thee, and it is for thee to 
decide : so do what thou wilt. — When he heard, therefore, 
these words, he said to her, Take the chests, and pass on : — 
and the eunuchs immediately took them up, and with the 
damsel, conveyed them into the palace : but in an instant, 
I heard a person crying out, and saving. The Khalifeh! 
The Khalifeh! 

I was bereft of my reason, and seized with a colic from 
excessive fear; I almost died, and my limbs were affected 
with a violent shaking. The Khalifeh cried out to the damsel, 
saying to her, What are these chests? She answered, O my 

^^ The well at Mekkeh, believed to possess miraculous virtues. 


lord (may God exalt thy dominion!), these chests contain 
clothes of my mistress Zubeydeh. — Open them, said the 
Khalifeh, that I may see the clothes. — When I heard this, 
I felt sure of my destruction. The damsel could not dis- 
obey his command; but she replied, O Prince of the Faithful, 
there is nothing in these chests but clothes of the lady 
Zubeydeh, and she hath commanded me not to open them 
to any one. The Khalifeh, however, said. The chests must 
be opened, all of them, that I may see their contents : — 
and immediately he called out to the eunuchs to bring them 
before him. I therefore felt certain that I was on the point 
of destruction. They then brought before him chest after 
chest, and opened each to him, and he examined the con- 
tents; and when they brought forward the chest in which 
I was enclosed, I bid adieu to life, and prepared myself 
for death ; but as the eunuchs were about to open it, the 
damsel, said, O Prince of the Faithful, verily this chest con- 
taineth things especially appertaining to women ; and it is 
proper, therefore, that it should be opened before the lady 
Zubeydeh: — and when the Khalifeh heard her words, he 
ordered the eunuchs to convey all the chests into the interior 
of the palace. The damsel then hastened, and ordered two 
eunuchs to carry away the chest in which I was hidden, and 
they took it to an inner chamber, and went their way; where- 
upon she quickly opened it, and made a sign to me to come 
out : so I did as she desired, and entered a closet that was 
before me, and she locked the door upon me, and closed the 
chest: and when the eunuchs had brought in all the chests, 
and had gone back, she opened the door of the closet, and 
said. Thou hast nothing to fear! May God refresh thine 
eye ! Come forth now, and go up with me, that thou mayest 
have the happiness of kissing the ground before the lady 

I therefore went with her, and beheld twenty other female 
slaves, high-bosomed virgins, and among them was the 
lady Zubeydeh, who was scarcely able to walk from the 
weight of the robes and ornaments with which she was 
decked. As she approached, the female slaves dispersed 
from around her, and I advanced to her, and kissed the 
ground before her. She made a sign to me to sit down: so 


I seated myself before her; and she began to ask me ques- 
tions respecting my condition and Hneage; to all of which 
I gave such answers that she was pleased, and said, By Allah, 
the care which we have bestowed on the education of this 
damsel hath not been in vain. She then said to me, Know 
that this damsel is esteemed by us as though she were 
really our child, and she is a trust committed to thy care 
by God. Upon this, therefore, I again kissed the ground 
before her, well pleased to marry the damsel; after which, 
she commanded me to remain with them ten days. Accord- 
ingly, I continued with them during this period; but I knew 
nothing meanwhile of the damsel ; certain of the maids only 
bringing me my dinner and supper, as my servants. After 
this, however, the lady Zubeydeh asked permission of her 
husband, the Prince of the Faithful, to marry her maid, and 
he granted her request, and ordered that ten thousand pieces 
of gold should be given to her. 

The lady Zubeydeh, therefore, sent for the Kadi and 
witnesses, and they wrote my contract of marriage to the 
damsel ; and the maids then prepared sweetmeats and ex- 
quisite dishes, and distributed them in all the apartments. 
Thus they continued to do for a period of ten more days ; 
and after the twenty days had passed, they conducted the 
damsel into the bath, preparatively to my being introduced 
to her as her husband. They then brought to me a repast 
comprising a basin of zirbajeh sweetened with sugar, per- 
fumed with rQse-water infused with musk, and containing 
different kinds of fricandoed fowls and a variety of other 
ingredients, such as astonished the mind ; and, by Allah, 
when this repast was brought, I instantly commenced upon 
the zirbajeh, and ate of it as much as satisfied me, and 
wiped my hand, but forgot to wash it. I remained sitting 
until it became dark; when the maids lighted the candles, 
and the singing-girls approached with the tambourines, and 
they continued to display the bride, and to give presents of 
gold, until she had perambulated the whole of the palace; 
after which they brought her to me, and disrobed her; and 
as soon as I was left alone with her, I threw my arms around 
her neck, scarcely believing in our union : but as I did so, 
she perceived the smell of the zirbajeh from my hand, and 


immediately uttered a loud cry : whereupon the female slaves 
ran in to her from every quarter. 

I was violently agitated, not knowing what was the 
matter; and the slaves who had come in said to her. What 
hath happened to thee, O our sister? — Take away from me, 
she exclaimed to them, this madman, whom I imagined 
to be a man of sense ! — What indication of my insanity 
hath appeared to thee? I asked. Thou madman, said she, 
wherefore hast thou eaten of the zirbajeh, and not washed 
thy hand? By Allah, I will not accept thee for thy want of 
sense, and thy disgusting conduct ! — And so saying, she took 
from her side a whip, and beat me with it upon my back 
until I became insensible from the number of the stripes. 
She then said to the other maids, Take him to the magistrate 
of the city police, that he may cut off his hand with which 
he ate the zirbajeh without washing it afterwards. On hear- 
ing this, I exclaimed, There is no strength nor power but in 
God! Wilt thou cut off my hand on account of my eating 
a zirbajeh and neglecting to wash it? — And the maids who 
were present entreated her, saying to her, O our sister, be 
not angry with him for what he hath done this time. But 
she replied. By Allah, I must cut off something from his 
extremities ! And immediately she departed, and was absent 
from me ten days : after which, she came again, and said 
to me, O thou black-faced ! Am I not worthy of thee ? How 
didst thou dare to eat the zirbajeh and not wash thy hand? — 
And she called to the maids, who bound my hands behind 
me, and she took a sharp razor, and cut off both my thumbs 
and both my great toes, as ye see, O companions ; and I 
swooned away. She then sprinkled upon my wounds some 
powder, by means of which the blood was stanched ; and 
I said, I will not eat of a zirbajeh as long as I live unless 
I wash my hands forty times with kali and forty times with 
cyperus and forty times with soap: — and she exacted of me 
an oath that I would not eat of this dish unless I washed my 
hands as I have described to you. Therefore, when this 
zirbajeh was brought, my colour changed, and I said within 
myself, This was the cause of the cutting off of my thumbs 
and great toes : — so, when ye compelled me, I said, I must 
fulfil the oath which I have sworn. 


I then said to him (continued the Sultan's steward). And 
what happened to thee after that? He answered, When I 
had thus sworn to her, she was appeased, and I was admitted 
into her favour and we lived happily together for a con- 
siderable time: after which she said. The people of the 
Khali fch's palace know not that thou hast resided here with 
me, and no strange man beside thee hath entered it; nor 
didst thou enter but through the assistance of the lady Zu- 
beydeh. She then gave me fifty thousand pieces of gold, 
and said to me. Take these pieces of gold, and go forth and 
buy for us a spacious house. So I went forth, and purchased 
a handsome and spacious house, and removed thither all the 
riches that she possessed, and all that she had treasured up, 
and her dresses and rarities. — This was the cause of the 
amputation of my thumbs and great toes. — So we ate (said 
the Sultan's steward), and departed; and after this, the 
accident with the humpback happened to me: this is all my 
story; and peace be on thee. 

The King said, This is not more pleasant than the story 
of the humpback: nay, the story of the humpback is more 
pleasant than this ; and ye must all of you be crucified. — ■ 
The Jew, however, then came forward, and, having kissed 
the ground, said, O King of the age, I will relate to thee a 
story more wonderful than that of the humpback : — and the 
King said, Relate thy story. So he commenced thus : — 

The Story Told by the Jewish Physician 

The most wonderful of the events that happened to me 
in my younger days was this : — I was residing in Damascus, 
where I learnt and practised my art ; and while I was thus 
occupied, one day there came to me a memluk from the 
house of the governor of the city: so I went forth with him, 
and accompanied him to the abode of the governor. I 
entered, and beheld, at the upper end of a saloon, a couch 
of alabaster overlaid with plates of gold, upon which was 
reclining a sick man: he was young; and a person more 
comely had not been seen in his age. Seating myself at his 
head, I ejaculated a prayer for his restoration; and he made 
a sign to me with his eye. I then said to him, O my master, 


stretch forth to me thy hand : — whereupon he put forth to me 
his left hand; and I was surprised at this, and said within 
myself. What self-conceit ! I felt his pulse, however, and 
wrote a prescription for him, and continued to visit him for 
a period of ten days, until he recovered his strength ; when 
he entered the bath, and washed himself, and came forth : 
and the governor conferred upon me a handsome dress of 
honour, and appointed me sui)crintendent of the hospital of 
Damascus. But when I went with him into the bath, which 
they had cleared of all other visitors for us alone, and the 
servants had brought the clothes, and taken away those 
which he had pulled off within, I perceived that his right 
hand had been cruelly amputated; at the sight of which I 
wondered, and grieved for him; and looking at his skin, I 
observed upon him marks of beating with mikr'ahs, which 
caused me to wonder more. The young man then turned 
towards me, and said, O doctor of the age, wonder not at 
my case; for I will relate to thee my story when we have 
gone out from the bath : — and when we had gone forth, and 
arrived at the house, and had eaten some food, and rested, 
he said to me. Hast thou a desire to divert thyself in the 
supper-room? I answered. Yes: — and immediately he or- 
dered the slaves to take up thither the furniture, and to 
roast a lamb and bring us some fruit. So the slaves did as 
he commanded them : and when they had brought the fruit, 
and we had eaten, I said to him. Relate to me thy story : — 
and he replied, O doctor of the age, listen to the relation of 
the events which have befallen me. 

Know that I am of the children of El-Mosil. My paternal 
grandfather died leaving ten male children, one of whom 
was my father: he was the eldest of them, and they all 
grew up and married ; and my father was blest with me ; 
but none of his nine brothers was blest with children. So 
I grew up among my uncles, who delighted in me exceed- 
ingly ; and when I had attained to manhood, I was one day 
with my father in the chief mosque of El-Mosil. The day 
was Friday ; and we performed the congregational prayers, 
and all the people went out, except my father and my 
uncles, who sat conversing together respecting the wonders 
of various countries, and the strange sights of different cities, 


until they mentioned Egypt; when one of my uncles said, 
The travellers assert, that there is not on the face of the 
earth a more agreeable country than Egypt with its Nile : — 
and my father added, He who hath not seen Cairo hath 
not seen the world: its soil is gold; its Nile is a wonder; 
its women are like the black-eyed virgins of Paradise; its 
houses are palaces; and its air is temperate; its odour sur- 
passing that of aloes-wood, and cheering the heart : and how 
can Cairo be otherwise when it is the metropolis of the 
world? Did ye see its gardens in the evening (he contin- 
ued), with the shade obliquely extending over them, ye 
would behold a wonder, and yield with ecstasy to their 

When I heard these descriptions of Egj-pt, my mind be- 
came wholly engaged by reflections upon that country; and 
after they had departed to their homes, I passed the night 
sleepless from my excessive longing towards it, and neither 
food nor drink was pleasant to me. A few days after, my 
uncles prepared to journey thither, and I wept before my 
father that I might go with them, so that he prepared a 
stock of merchandise for me, and I departed in their com- 
pany; but he said to them. Suffer him not to enter Eg>'pt, 
but leave him at Damascus, that he may there sell his mer- 

I took leave of my father, and we set forth from El-Mosil, 
and continued yur journey until we arrived at Aleppo, where 
we remained some days; after which we proceeded thence 
until we came to Damascus; and we beheld it to be a city 
with trees and rivers and fruits and bi ds, as though it were 
a paradise, containing fruits of every kind. We took lodg- 
ings in one of the Khans, and my ""'-u-s remained there 
until they had sold and bought; and they also sold my mer- 
chandise, gaining, for every piece of silver, five, so that 
I rejoiced at my profit. My uncles then left me, and repaired 
to Egypt, and I remained and took up my abode in a hand- 
some Ka'ah, such as the tongue cannot describe ; the monthly 
rent of which was two pieces of gold. 

Here I indulged myself with eating and drinking, squan- 
dering away the money that was in my possession ; and as 
I was sitting one day at the door of the Ka'ah, a damsel ap- 


preached me, attired in clothing of the richest description, 
such as I had never seen surpassed in costHness, and I invited 
her to come in; whereupon, without hesitation, she entered; 
and I was deHghted at her compliance, and closed the door 
upon us both. She then uncovered her face, and took off her 
izar, and I found her to be so surprisingly beautiful that 
love for her took possession of my heart: so I went and 
brought a repast consisting of the most delicious viands and 
fruit and everything else that was requisite for her entertain- 
ment, and we ate and sported together ; after which we drank 
till we were intoxicated, and fell asleep, and so we remained 
until the morning, when I handed her ten pieces of gold ; 
but she swore that she would not accept them from me, and 
said, Expect me again, O my beloved, after three days: at 
the hour of sunset I will be with thee: and do thou prepare 
for us, with these pieces of gold, a repast similar to this 
which we have just enjoyed. She then gave me ten pieces 
of gold, and took leave of me, and departed, taking my reason 
with her. And after the three days had expired, she came 
again, decked with embroidered stuffs and ornaments and 
other attire more magnificent than those which she wore 
on the former occasion. I had prepared for her what was 
required previously to her arrival ; so we now ate and drank 
and fell asleep as before; and in the morning she gave me 
again ten pieces of gold, promising to return to me after 
three more days. I therefore made ready what was requisite, 
and after the three days she came attired in a dress still more 
magnificent than the first and second, and said to me, O 
my master, am I beautiful? — Yea, verily, I answered. — 
Wilt thou give me leave, she rejoined, to bring with me a 
damsel more beautiful than myself, and younger than I, that 
she may sport with us, and w-e may make merry with her? 
For she hath requested that she may accompany me, and pass 
the night in frolicking with us. — And so saying, she gave 
me twenty pieces of gold, desiring me to prepare a more plen- 
tiful repast, on account of the lady who was to come with 
her ; after which, she bade me farewell, and departed. 

Accordingly, on the fourth day, I procured what was 
requisite, as usual, and soon after sunset she came, accom- 
panied by a female wrapped in an izar, and they entered. 


and seated themselves. I was rejoiced, and lighted the can- 
dles, and welcomed them with joy and exultation. They 
then took off their outer garments, and when the new damsel 
uncovered her face, I perceived that she was like the full 
moon: I never beheld a person more beautiful. I arose 
immediately, and placed before them the food and drink, and 
we ate and drank, while I continued caressing the new 
damsel, and filling the wine-cup for her, and drinking with 
her: but the first lady was affected with a secret jealousy. — 
By Allah, she said, verily this girl is beautiful ! Is she not 
more charming than I ? — Yea, indeed, I answered. — Soon 
after this I fell asleep, and when I awoke in the morning, 
I found my hand defiled with blood, and opening my eyes, 
perceived that the sun had risen; so I attempted to rouse 
the damsel, my new companion, whereupon her head rolled 
from her body. The other damsel was gone, and I con- 
cluded, therefore, that she had done this from her jealousy; 
and after reflecting a while, I arose, and took off my clothes, 
and dug a hole in the Ka'ah, in which I deposited the mur- 
dered damsel, afterwards covering her remains with earth, 
and replacing the marble pavement as it was before. I 
then dressed myself again, and, taking the remainder of 
my money, went forth, and repaired to the owner of the 
Ka'ah, and paid him a year's rent, saying to him, I am 
about to journey to my uncles in Egypt. 

So I departed to Egypt, where I met with my uncles, and 
they were rejoiced to see me. I found that they had con- 
cluded the sale of their merchandise, and they said to me, 
What is the cause of thy coming? I answered, I had a 
longing desire to be with you, and feared that my money 
would not suffice me. — For a year I remained with them, 
enjoying the pleasures of Egypt and its Nile; and I dipped 
my hand into the residue of my money, and expended it 
prodigally in eating and drinking until near the time of my 
uncles' departure, when I fled from them : so they said. 
Probably he hath gone before us and returned to Damascus: 
— and they departed. I then came forth from my conceal- 
ment, and remained in Cairo three years, squandering away 
my money until scarcely any of it remained : but meanwhile 
I sent every year the rent of the Ka'ah at Damascus to its 


owner: and after the three years my heart became con- 
tracted, for nothing remained in my possession but the rent 
for the year. 

I therefore journeyed back to Damascus, and ah'ghted at 
the Ka'ah. The owner was rejoiced to see me, and I entered 
it, and cleansed it of the blood of the murdered damsel, and, 
removing a cusliion, I found, beneath this, the necklace that 
she had worn that night. I took it up and examined it, and 
wept a while. After this I remained in the house two days, 
and on the third day I entered the bath, and changed my 
clothes. I now had no money left ; and I went one day to the 
market, where (the Devil suggesting it to me, in order to 
accomplish the purpose of destiny) I handed the necklace 
of jewels to a broker; and he rose to me, and seated me by 
his side : then having waited until the market was replen- 
ished, he took it, and announced it for sale secretly, without 
my knowledge. The price bidden for it amounted to two 
thousand pieces of gold ; but he came to me and said. This 
necklace is of brass, of the counterfeit manufacture of the 
Franks, and its price hath amounted to a thousand pieces 
of silver. I answered him, Yes : we had made it for a woman, 
merely to laugh at her, and my wife has inherited it, and we 
desire to sell it : go, therefore, and receive the thousand 
pieces of silver. Now when the broker heard this, he 
perceived that the affair was suspicious, and went and gave 
the necklace to the chief of the market, who took it to the 
W'ali, and said to him, This necklace was stolen from me, 
and we have found the thief, clad in the dress of the sons 
of the merchants. And before I knew what had happened, 
the officers had surrounded me, and they took me to the Wali, 
who questioned me respecting the necklace. I told him, 
therefore, the same story that I had told to the broker; but 
he laughed, and said. This is not the truth : — and instantly 
his people stripped me of my outer clothing, and beat me 
with mikra'ahs all over my body, until, through the torture 
that I suffered from the blows, I said, I stole it: — reflecting 
that it was better I should say I stole it, than confess that its 
owner was murdered in my abode; for then they would kill 
me to avenge her : and as soon as I had said so, they cut off 
my hand, and scalded thie stump with boiling oil, and I 


swooned away. They then gave me to drink some wine, by 
swallowing which I recovered my senses ; and I took my 
amputated hand, and returned to the Ka'ah ; but its owner 
said to me, Since this hath happened to thee, leave the Ka'ah, 
and look for another abode; for thou art accused of an un- 
lawful act. — O my master, I replied, give me two or three 
days' delay that I may seek for a lodging: — and he assented 
to this and departed and left me. So I remained alone, and 
sat weeping, and saying. How can I return to my family with 
my hand cut off. He who cut it off knoweth not that I am 
innocent : perhaps, then, God will bring about some event 
for my relief. 

I sat weeping violently ; and when the owner of the Ka'ah 
had departed from me, excessive grief overcame me. and 
I was sick for two days; and on the third day, suddenly 
the owner of the Ka'ah came to me, with some officers of 
the police, and the chief of the market, and accused me 
again of stealing the necklace. So I went out to them, and 
said. What is the news? — whereupon, without granting me 
a moment's delay, they bound my arms behind me, and put 
a chain around my neck, saying to me, The necklace which 
was in thy possession hath proved to be the property of the 
governor of Damascus, its Wezir and its Ruler ; it hath been 
lost from the governor's house for a period of three years, 
and with it was his daughter. — When I heard these words 
from them, my limbs trembled, and I said within myself, 
They will kill me ! My death is inevitable ! By Allah, I 
must relate my story to the governor; and if he please he 
will kill me, or if he please he will pardon me. — And when 
we arrived at the governor's abode, and they had placed me 
before him, and he beheld me, he said. Is this he who stole 
the necklace and went out to sell it ? Verily ye have cut off 
his hand wrongfully. — He then ordered that the chief of the 
market should be imprisoned, and said to him. Give to this 
person the compensatory fine for his hand, or I will hang 
thee and seize all thy property. And he called out to his 
attendants, who took him and dragged him away. 

I was now left with the governor alone, after they had, 
by his permission, loosed the chain from my neck, and 
untied the cords which bound my arms ; and the governor 


looking towards me, said to me. O my son, tell me thy story, 
and speak truth. How did this necklace come into thy 
possession ? — So I replied, O my lord, I will tell thee the 
truth : — and I related to him all that had happened to me 
with the first damsel, and how she had brought to me the 
second, and murdered her from jealousy; on hearing which, 
he shook his head, and covered his face with his handker- 
chief, and wept. Then looking towards me, he said, Know, 
O my son, that the elder damsel was my daughter: I kept 
her closely ; and when she had attained a fit age for mar- 
riage, I sent her to the son of her uncle in Cairo ; but he 
died, and she returned to me, having learnt habits of prof- 
ligacy from the inhabitants of that city; so she visited thee 
four times ; and on the fourth occasion,, she brought to thee 
her younger sister. They were sisters by the same mother, 
and much attached to each other ; and when the event which 
thou has related occurred to the elder, she imparted her secret 
to her sister, who asked my permission to go out with her ; 
after which the elder returned alone; and when I questioned 
her respecting her sister, I found her weeping for her, and 
she answered, I know no tidings of her : — but she afterwards 
informed her mother, secretly, of the murder which she had 
committed ; and her mother privately related the affair to 
me; and she continued to weep for her incessantly, saying, 
By Allah, I will not cease to weep for her until I die. Thy 
account, O my son, is true ; for I knew the affair before thou 
toldest it me. See then, O my son, what hath happened: and 
now I request of thee that thou wilt not oppose me in that 
which I am about to say ; and it is this : — I desire to marry 
thee to my youngest daughter ; for she is not of the same 
mother as they were : she is a virgin, and I will receive 
from thee no dowry, but will assign to you both an allow- 
ance ; and thou shalt be to me as an own son. — I replied. Let 
it be as thou desirest, O my master. How could I expect 
to attain unto such happiness? — The governor then sent im- 
mediately a courier to bring the property which my father 
had left me (for he had died since my departure from him), 
and now I am living in the utmost affluence. 

I wondered, said the Jew, at his history; and after I had 
remained with him three days, he gave me a large sum of 


money; and I left him, to set forth on a journey; and, 
arriving in this your country, my residence here pleased 
me, and I experienced this which hath happened to me with 
the humpback. 

The King, when he had heard this story, said, This is 
not more wonderful than the story of the humpback, and ye 
must all of you be hanged, and especially the tailor, who is 
the source of all the mischief. But he afterwards added, 
O tailor, if thou tell me a story more wonderful than that 
of the humpback, I will forgive you your offences. So the 
tailor advanced, and said, — 

The Story Told by the Tailor 

Know, O King of the age, that what hath happened to 
me is more wonderful than the events which have happened 
to all the others. Before I met the humpback, I was, early 
in the morning, at an entertainment given to certain trades- 
men of my acquaintance, consisting of tailors and linen- 
drapers and carpenters and others; and when the sun had 
risen, the repast was brought for us to eat ; and lo, the 
master of the house came in to us, accompanied by a strange 
and handsome young man, of the inhabitants of Baghdad. 
He was attirfed in clothes of the handsomest description, 
and was a most comely person, except that he was lame; 
and as soon as he had entered and saluted us, we rose to 
him; but when he was about to seat himself, he observed 
among us a man who was a barber, whereupon he refused 
to sit down, and desired to depart from us. We and the 
master of the house, however, prevented him, and urged him 
to seat himself; and the host conjured him, saying. What is 
the reason of thy entering, and then immediately departing? 
• — By Allah, O my master, replied he. offer me no opposition ; 
for the cause of my departure is this barber, who is sitting 
with you. And when the host heard this, he was exceedingly 
surprised, and said, How is it that the heart of this young 
man, who is from Baghdad, is troubled by the presence of 
this barber? We then looked towards him, and said. Relate 
to us the cause of thy displeasure against this barber; and 
the young man replied, O company, a surprising adventure 


hakii i.ed to me with this barber in Baghdad, my city; and 
he was the cause of my lameness, and of the breaking of my 
leg; and I have sworn that I will not sit in any place where 
he is present, nor dwell in any town where he resides : I 
quitted Baghdad and took up my abode in this city, and 
I will not pass the next night without departing from it. — 
Upon this, we said to him, We conjure thee, by Allah, to 
relate to us thy adventure with him. — And the countenance 
of the barber turned pale when he heard its make this request. 
The young man then said, — 

Know, O good people, that my father was one of the 
chief merchants of Baghdad; and God (whose name be 
exalted!) blessed him with no son but myself; and when 
I grew up, and had attained to manhood, my father was 
admitted to the mercy of God, leaving me wealth and 
servants and other dependants; whereupon I began to at- 
tire myself in clothes of the handsomest description, and 
to feed upon the most delicious meats. Now God (whose 
perfection be extolled!) made me to be a hater of women; 
and so I continued, until, one day, I was walking through 
the streets of Baghdad, when a party of them stopped my 
way: I therefore fled from them, and, entering a by-street 
which was not a thoroughfare, I reclined upon a mastabah 
at its further extremity. Here I had been seated but a 
short time when, lo, a window opposite the place where I 
sat was opened, and there looked out from it a damsel 
like the full moon, such as I had never in my life beheld. 
She had some flowers, which she was watering, beneath the 
window ; and she looked to the right and left, and then 
shut the window, and disappeared from before me. Fire 
had been shot into my heart, and my mind was absorbed 
by her; my hatred of women was turned into love, and I 
continued sitting in the same place until sunset, in a state 
of distraction from the violence of my passion, when, lo, 
the Kadi of the city came riding along, with slaves before 
him and servants behind him, and alighted, and entered 
the house from which the damsel had looked out : so I knew 
tiiat he must be her father. 

I then returned to my house, sorrowful and fell upon 
my bed, full of anxious thoughts; and my female slaves 


came in to me, and seated themselves around me, not_ low- 
ing what was the matter with me; and I acquainted "them 
not with my case, nor returned any answers to their ques- 
tions; and my disorder increased. The neighbours, there- 
fore, came to cheer me with their visits; and among those 
who visited me was an old woman, who, as soon as she 
saw me, discovered my state ; whereupon she seated her- 
self at my head, and, addressing me in a kind manner, 
said, O my son, tell me what hath happened to thee? So 
I related to her my story, and she said, O my son, this is 
the daughter of the Kadi of Baghdad, and she is kept in 
close confinement : the place where thou sawest her is her 
apartment, and her father occupies a large saloon below, 
leaving her alone; and often do I visit her: thou canst 
obtain an interview with her only through me: so brace up 
thy nerves. When I heard, therefore, what she said, I took 
courage, and fortified my heart; and my family rejoiced 
that day. I rose up firm in limb, and hoping for complete 
restoration; and the old woman departed; but she returned 
with her countenance changed, and said, O my son, ask not 
what she did when I told her of thy case ; for she said, If 
thou abstain not, O ill-omened old woman, from this dis- 
course, I will treat thee as thou deservest: — but I must go 
to her a second time. 

On hearing this, my disorder increased : after some days, 
however, the old woman came again, and said, O my son, I 
desire of thee a reward for good tidings. My soul returned 
to my body at these words, and I replied, Thou shalt receive 
from me everything that thou canst wish. She then said. I 
went yesterday to the damsel, and when she beheld me with 
broken heart and weeping eye, she said to me, O my aunt, 
wherefore do I see thee with contracted heart? — and when 
she had thus said, I wept, and answered, O my daughter 
and mistress, I came to thee yesterday from visiting a youth 
who loveth thee, and he is at the point of death on thy 
account : — and, her heart being moved with compassion, she 
asked, Who is this youth of whom thou speakest ? I answcreil. 
He is my son, and the child that is dear to my soul : he saw 
thee at the window some days ago, while thou wast watering 
thy flowers; and when he beheld thy face, he became dis- 


tracted with love for thee: I informed him of the conversa- 
tion that I had with thee the first time ; upon which his 
disorder increased, and he took to his pillow: he is now 
dying, and there is no doubt of his fate. — And upon this, 
her countenance became pale and she said, Is this all on 
my account? — Yea, by Allah, I answered; and what dost 
thou order me to do? — Go to him, said she; convey to him 
my salutation, and tell him that my love is greater than his; 
and on Friday next, before the congregation prayers, let 
him come hither: I will give orders to open the door to 
him, i.nd to bring him up to me, and I will have a short 
interview with him, and he shall return before my father 
comes back from the prayers. 

When I heard these words of the old woman, the anguish 
which I had suffered ceased; my heart was set at rest, and 
I gave her the suit of clothes which I was then wearing, and 
she departed, saying to me, Cheer up thy heart. I replied, 
I have no longer any pain. The people of my house, and 
my friends, communicated, one to another, the good news 
of my restoration to health, and I remained thus until the 
Friday, when the old woman came in to me, and asked me 
respecting my state; so I informed her that I was happy 
and well. I then dressed and perfumed myself, and sat 
waiting for the people to go to prayers, that I might repair 
to the damsel ; but the old woman said to me, Thou hast 
yet more than ample time, and if thou go to the bath and 
shave, especially for the sake of obliterating the traces of 
thy disorder, it will be more becoming. — It is a judicious 
piece of advice, replied I ; but I will sliave my head first, 
and then go into the bath. 

So I sent for a barber to shave my head, saying to the 
boy, Go to the market, and bring me a barber, one who is a 
man of sense, little inclined to impertinence, that he may 
not make my head ache by his chattering. And the boy 
went, and brought this sheykh, who, on entering, saluted 
me ; and when I returned his salutation, he said to me. 
May God dispel thy grief and thine anxiety, and misfortunes 
and sorrows ! I responded. May God accept thy prayer ! 
He then said. Be cheerful, O my master; for health hath 
returned to thee. Dost thou desire to be shaved or to be 



bled? — for it hath been handed down, on the authority of 
Ibn-' Abbas'^ that the Prophet said, Whoso shortenelh his 
hair on Friday, God will avert from him seventy diseases; — 
and it hath been handed down also, on the same authority, 
that the Prophet said, Whoso is cupped on Friday will not 
be secure from the loss of sight and from frequent disease. 
— Abstain, said I, from this useless discourse, and come 
immediately, shave my head for I am weak. And he arose, 
and, stretching forth his hand, took out a handkerchiei", and 
opened it; and lo, there was in it an astrolabe, consisting of 
seven plates; and he took it, and went into the middle of 
the courtj where he raised his head towards the san, and 
looked for a considerable time; after which he said to me. 
Know that there have passed, of this our day, — which is 
Friday, and which is the tenth of Safar, of the year 263 of 
the Flight of the Prophet, — upon whom be the most excellent 
of blessings and peace ! — and the ascendant star of which, 
according to the required rules of the science of computa- 
tion, is the planet Mars, — seven degrees and six minutes ; 
and it happeneth that Mercury hath come in conjunction 
with that planet; and this indicateth that the shaving of 
hair is now a most excellent operation : and it hath indicated 
to me, also, that thou desirest to confer a benefit upon a 
person : and fortunate is he ! — but after that, there is an 
announcement ■ that presenteth itself to me respecting a 
matter which I will not mention to thee. 

By Allah, I exclaimed, thou hast wearied me, and dissi- 
pated my mind, and augured against me, when I required 
thee only to shave my head : arise, then, and shave it ; and 
prolong not thy discourse to me. But he replied, By Allah, 
if thou knewest the truth of the case, thou wouldst demand 
of me a further explication; and I counsel thee to do this 
day as I direct thee, according to the calculations deduced 
from the stars : it is thy duty to praise God, and not to 
oppose me; for I am one who giveth thee good advice, and 
who rcgardeth thee with compassion : I would that I were 
in thy service for a whole year, that thou mightest do me 
justice ; and I desire not any pay from thee for so doing. — 

" One of the most learned of the companions of his cousin >fohanimad, 
and one of the most celebrated of the relators of his sayings and actions. 


When I heard this, I said to him, Verily thou art kilh'ng me 
this day, and there is no escape for me. — O my master, he 
replied, I am he whom the people call Es-Samit, [" the 
Silent,"] on account of the paucity of my speech, by which I 
am distinguished above my brothers : for my eldest brother is 
named El-Bakbuk; and the second, El-Heddar; and the 
third, Bakbak"^; and the fourth is named El-Kuz el-Aswani; 
and the fifth, El-Feshshar ; and the sixth is named Shakalik ; 
and the seventh brother is named Es-Samit; and he is myself. 
Now when this barber thus overwhelmed me with his 
talk, I felt as if my gall-bladder had burst, and said to the 
boy, Give him a quarter of a piece of gold and let him 
depart from me for the sake of Allah: for I have no need 
to shave my head. But the barber on hearing what I said 
to the boy, exclaimed, What is this that thou hast said, O 
my lord? By Allah, I will accept from thee no pay unless 
I serve thee; and serve thee I must; for to do so is 
incumbent on me, and to perform what thou requirest; and 
I care not if I receive from thee no money. If thou knowest 
not my worth, I know thine ; and thy father — may Allah have 
mercy upon him ! — treated us with beneficence ; for he was 
a man of generosity. By Allah, thy father sent for me one 
day, like this blessed day, and when I went to him, he had 
a number of his friends with him, and he said to lue. Take 
some blood from me. So I took the astrolabe, and observed 
the altitude for him, and found the ascendant of the hour to 
be of evil omen, and that the letting of blood would be 
attended with trouble: I therefore acquainted him with this, 
and he conformed to my wish, and waited until the arrival 
of the approved hour, when I took the blood from him. He 
did not oppose me ; but, on the contrary, thanked me ; and 
in like manner all the many present thanked me; and thy 
father gave me a hundred pieces of gold for services similar 
to the letting of blood. — May God, said I, shew no mercy 
to my father for knowing such a man as thou ! — and the 
barber laughed, and exclaimed. There is no deity but God ! 
Mohammad is God's Apostle ! Extolled be the perfection 
of Him who changeth others, but is not changed ! I did 
not imagine thee to be otherwise than a man of sense; but 

" All three names signify " Chatterer." 


thou hast talked nonsense in consequence of thine illness. 
God hath mentioned, in his Excellent Book, those who re- 
strain their anger, and who forgive men : — but thou art 
excused in every case. I am unacquainted, however, with 
the cause of thy haste; and thou knowest that thy father 
used to do nothing without consulting me; and it hath 
been said, that the person to whom one applies for advice 
should be trusted: now thou wilt find no one better ac- 
quainted with the affairs of the world than myself, and I 
am standing on my feet to serve thee. I am not displeased 
with thee, and how then art thou displeased with me? But 
I will have patience with thee on account of the favours 
which I have received from thy father. — By Allah, said I, 
thou hast wearied me with thy discourse, and overcome me 
with thy speech! I desire that thou shave my head and 
depart from me. 

I gave vent to my rage; and would have risen, even if 
he had wetted my head, when he said, I knew that dis- 
pleasure with me had overcome thee; but I will not be 
angry with thee, for thy sense is weak, and thou art a youth: 
a short time ago I used to carry thee on my shoulder, and 
take thee to the school. — Upon this, I said to him, O my 
brother, I conjure thee by Allah, depart from me that I may 
perform my business, and go thou thy way. Then I rent 
my clothes; and when he saw me do this, he took the 
razor, and sharpened it, and continued to do so until my soul 
almost parted from my body ; then advancing to my head, 
he shaved a small portion of it; after which he raised his 
hand, and said, O my lord, haste is from the Devil; — and 
he repeated this couplet: — 

Deliberate, and haste not to accomplish thy desire ; and be merciful, 

so shalt thou meet with one merciful : 
For there is no hand but God's hand is above it ; nor oppressor 

that shall not meet with an oppressor. 

O my lord (he then continued), I do not imagine that thou 
knowest my condition in society; for my hand lighteth 
upon the heads of kings and emirs and wezirs and sages 
and learned men ; and of such a one as myself hath the 
I)oet said, — 



The trades altogether are like a necklace, and this barber is the 

chief pearl of the strings. 
He excelleth all that are endowed with skill, and under his hands 

are the heads of Kings. 

— Leave, said I, that which doth not concern thee ! Thou hast 
contracted my heart, and troubled my mind. — I fancy that 
thou art in haste, he rejoined. I replied, Yes! Yes! Yes! — 
Proceed slowly, said he; for verily haste is from the Devil, 
and it giveth occasion to repentance and disappointment; 
and he upon whom be blessing and peace hath said, The 
best of affairs is that which is commenced with deliber- 
ation: — and, by Allah, I am in doubt as to thine affair: I 
wish, therefore, that thou wouldst make known to me wliat 
thou art hasting to do; and may it be good; for I fear it 
is otherwise. 

There now remained, to the appointed time, three hours; 
and he threw the razor from his hand in anger, and, taking 
the astrolabe, went again to observe the sun ; then after he 
had waited a long time, he returned, saying, There remain, 
to the hour of prayer, three hours, neither more nor less. — 
For the sake of Allah, said I, be silent ; for thou hast 
crumbled my liver! — and thereupon he took the razor, and 
sharpened it as he had done the first time, and shaved 
another portion of my head. Then stopping again, he said, 
I am in anxiety on account of thy hurry: if thou wouldst 
acquaint me with the cause of it, it would be better for thee ; 
for thou knowest that thy father used to do nothing without 
consulting me. 

I perceived now that I could not avoid his importunity, 
and said within myself. The time of prayer is almost come, 
and I desire to go before the people come out from the 
service : if I delay a little longer, I know not how to gain 
admission to her. I therefore said to him, Be quick, and 
cease from this chattering and impertinence ; for I desire 
to repair to an entertainment with my friends. But when 
he heard the mention of the entertainment, he exclaimed. 
The day is a blessed day for me! I yesterday conjured a 
party of my intimate friends to come and feast with me, 
and forgot to prepare for them anything to eat ; and now 
I have remembered it. Alas for the disgrace that I shall 


experience from them ! — So I said to him, Be in no anxiety 
on this account, since thou hast been told that I am going 
to-day to an entertainment; for all the food and drink that 
is in my house shall be thine if thou use expedition in my 
affair, and quickly finish shaving my head. — May God 
recompense thee with every blessing! he repHed: describe 
to me what thou hast for my guests, that I may knov^r it. — 
I have, said I, five dishes of meat, and ten fowls fricandoed, 
and a roasted lamb. — Cause them to be brought before me, 
he said, that I may see them. So I had them brought to 
him, and he exclaimed. Divinely art thou gifted! How 
generous is thy soul ; But the incense and perfumes are 
wanting. — I brought him, therefore, a box containing nedd" 
and aloes-wood and ambergris and musk, worth fifty pieces 
of gold. — The time had now become contracted, like my 
own heart ; so I said to him. Receive this, and shave the 
whole of my head, by the existence of Mohammad, God 
bless and save him ! But he replied, By Allah, I will not 
take it until I see all that it contains. I therefore ordered 
the boy, and he opened the box to him; whereupon the 
barber threw down the astrolabe from his hand, and seat- 
ing himself upon the ground, turned over the perfumes and 
incense and aloes-wood in the box until my soul almost 
quitted my body. 

He then advanced, and took the razor, and shaved 
another small p^ortion of my head ; after which he said. By 
Allah, O my son, I know not whether I should thank thee 
or thank thy father; for my entertainment to-day is entirely 
derived from thy bounty and kindness, and I have no one 
among my visitors deserving of it ; for my guests are Zeytun 
the bath-keeper, and Sali' the wheat-seller, and 'Awkal the 
bean-seller, and 'Akresheh the grocer, and Homcyd the 
dustman, and 'Akarish the milk-seller, and each of these 
hath a peculiar dance which he performeth. and peculiar 
verses which he reciteth ; and the best of their qualities is, 
that they are like thy servant, the memluk who is before 
thee; and I, thy slave, know neither loquacity nor imper- 
tinence. As to the bath-keeper, he saith, H I go not to 

*' A perfume composed of ambergris, musk, and aloes-wood; or simply 


the feast, it cometh to my house ! — and as to the dustman, 
he is witty, and full of frolic: often doth he dance, and 
say, News, with my wife, is not kept in a chest ! — and each 
of my friends hath jests that another hath not: but the 
description is not like the actual observation. If thou 
choose, therefore, to come to us, it will be more pleasant 
both to thee and to us: relinquish, then, thy visit to thy 
friends of whom thou hast told us that thou desirest to go 
to them: for the traces of disease are yet upon thee, and 
probably thou art going to a people of many words, who 
will talk of that which concerneth them not; or probably 
there will be among them one impertinent person ; and thy 
soul is already disquieted by disease. — I replied, If it be the 
will of God, that shall be on some other day: — but he said. 
It will be more proper that thou first join my party of 
friends, that thou mayest enjoy their conviviality, and delight 
thyself with their salt. Act in accordance with the saying 
of the poet : — 

Defer not a pleasure when it can be had; for fortune often 
destroyeth our plans. 

Upon this I laughed from a heart laden witR anger, and 
said to him, Do what I require, that I may go in the care 
of God, whose name be exalted ! and do thou go to thy friends, 
for they are awaiting thine arrival. He replied, I desire noth- 
ing but to introduce thee into the society of these people ; 
for verily they are of the sons of that class among which is 
no impertinent person ; and if thou didst but behold them once, 
thou wouldst leave all thine own companions. — May God, 
said I, give thee abundant joy with them, and I must bring 
them together here some day. — If that be thy wish, he re- 
joined, and thou wilt first attend the entertainment of thy 
friends this day, wait until T take this present with which thou 
hast honoured me, and place it before my friends, that they 
may eat and drink without waiting for me, and then I will 
return to thee, and go with thee to thy companions; for there 
is no false delicacy between me and my companions that 
should prevent my leaving them ; so I will return to thee 
quickly, and repair with thee whithersoever thou goest. — Upon 
this I exclaimed, There is no strength nor power but in God, 


the High, the Great ! Go thou to thy companions, and delight 
thy heart with them, and leave me to repair to mine, and to 
remain with them this day, for they are waiting my arrival. — 
But he said, I will not leave thee to go alone. — The place to 
which I am going, said I, none can enter except myself. — I 
suppose then, he rejoined, that thou hast an appointment to- 
day with some female : otherwise, thou wouldst take me with 
thee; for I am more deserving than all other men, and will 
assist thee to attain what thou desirest. I fear that thou art 
going to visit some strange woman, and that thy life will be 
lost ; for in this city of Baghdad no one can do anything of this 
kind, especially on such a day as this ; seeing that the Wali of 
Baghdad is a terrible, sharp sword. — Wo to thee, O wicked 
old man ! I exclaimed, what are these words with which thou 
addressest me! — And upon this, he kept a long silence. 

The time of prayer had now arrived, and the time of 
the Khutbeh" was near, when he had finished shaving my 
head: So I said to him. Go with this food and drink to thy 
friends, and I will wait for thee until thou return, and 
thou shalt accompany me: — and I continued my endeavours 
to deceive him ; that he might go away ; but he said to me, 
Verily thou- art deceiving me, and wilt go alone, and pre- 
cipitate thyself into a calamity from which there will be no 
escape for thee ; by Allah ! by Allah ! then quit not this 
spot imtil I return to thee, and accompany thee, that I may 
know what will be the result of thine affair. — I replied, 
Well: prolong not thine absence from me. And he took 
the food and drink and other things which I had given him, 
but intrusted them to a porter to convey them to his abode, 
and concealed himself in one of the by-streets. I then 
immediately arose. The mueddins on the menarehs had 
chanted the Selam of Friday ; and I put on my clothes, and 
went forth alone, and, arriving at the by-street, stopped at 
the door of the house where I had seen the damsel : and lo, 
the barber was behind me, and I knew it not. I found the 
door open, and entered; and immediately the master of the 
house returned from the- prayers, and entered the saloon, 
and closed the door; and I said within myself, How did 
this devil discover me? 

^* Friday sermon. 


Now it happened, just at this time, for the fulfilment 
of God's purpose to rend the veil of protection before me, 
that a female slave belonging to the master of the house 
committed some offence, in consequence of which he beat 
her, and she cried out ; whereupon a male slave came in to 
him to liberate her ; but he beat him also, and he likewise 
cried out ; and the barber concluded that he was beating me ; 
so he cried, and rent his clothes, and sprinkled dust upon his 
head, shrieking, and calling for assistance. He was sur- 
rounded by people, and said to them, My master hath been 
killed in the house of the Kadi ! Then running to my house, 
crying out all the while, and with a crowd behind him, he 
gave the news to my family ; and I knew not what he had 
done when they approached, crying, Alas for our master ! — 
the barber all the while being before them, with his clothes 
rent, and a number of the people of the city with them. 
They continued shrieking, the barber shrieking at their head, 
and all of them exclaiming, Alas for our slain ! — Thus they 
advanced to the house in which I was confined; and when 
the Kadi heard of this occurrence, the event troubled him, 
and he arose, and opened the door, and seeing a great 
crowd, he was confounded, and said, O people, what is the 
news ? 

The servants replied. Thou hast killed our master. — 
O people, rejoined he, what hath your master done unto 
me that I should kill him; and wherefore do I see this 
barber before you? — Thou hast just now beaten him with 
mikra'ahs, said 'the barber; and I heard his cries. — What 
hath he done that I should kill him? repeated the Kadi. 
And whence, he » added, came he; and whither would he go? 
• — Be not an old man of malevolence, exclaimed the barber ; 
for I know the story, and the reason of his entering thy 
house, and the truth of the whole affair; thy daughter is in 
love with him, and he is in love with her; and thou hast 
discovered that he had entered thy house, and hast ordered 
thy young men, and they have beaten him. By Allah, none 
shall decide between us and thee except the Khali fch; or 
thou shalt bring forth to us our master that his family may 
take him ; and oblige me not to enter and take him forth 
from you: haste then thyself to produce him. 


Upon this, the Kadi was withheld from speaking, and 
became utterly abashed before the people: but presently he 
said to the barber. If thou speak truth, enter thyself, and 
bring him forth. So the barber advanced, and entered the 
house; and when I saw him do so, I sought for a way to 
escape; but I found no place of refuge except a large chest 
which I observed in the same apartment in which I then 
was; I therefore entered this, and shut down the lid, and 
held in my breath. Immediately after, the barber ran into 
the saloon, and, without looking in any other direction than 
that in which I had concealed myself, came thither: then 
turning his eyes to the right and left, and seeing nothing 
but the chest, he raised it upon his head; whereupon my 
reason forsook me. He quickly descended with it ; and 
I, being now certain that he would not quit me, opened the 
chest, and threw myself upon the ground. My leg was 
broken by the fall; and when I -came to the door of the 
house, I found a multitude of people: I had never seen 
such a crowd as was there collected on that day ; so I 
began to scatter gold among them, to divert them; and 
while they were busied in picking it up, I hastened through 
the by-streets of Baghdad, followed by this barber; and 
wherever I entered, he entered after me, crying, They 
would have plunged me into affliction on account of my 
master! Praise be to God who aided me against them, 
and delivered my master from their hands ! Thou con- 
tinuedst, O my master, to be excited by haste for the ac- 
complishment of thine evil design until thou broughtest 
upon thyself this event; and if God had not blessed thee 
with me, thou hadst not escaped from this calamity into 
which thou hast fallen ; and they might have involved thee 
in a calamity from which thou wouldst never have escaped. 
Beg, therefore, of God, that I may live for thy sake, to 
liberate thee in future. By Allah, thou hast almost destroyed 
me by thine evil design, desiring to go alone ; but we will 
not be angry with thee for thine ignorance, for thou art 
endowed with little sense and of a hasty disposition. — Art 
thou not satisfied, replied I. with that which thou hast done, 
but wilt thou run after me through the market-streets? — And 
I desired for death to liberate me from him; but found it 


not; and in the excess of my rage I ran from him, and, 
entering a shop in the midst of the market, implored the 
protection of its owner; and he drove away the barber 
from me. 

I then seated myself in a magazine belonging to him, 
and said within myself, I cannot now rid myself of this 
barber; but he will be with me night and day, and I cannot 
endure the sight of his face. So I immediately summoned 
witnesses, and wrote a document, dividing my property 
among my family, and appointing a guardian over them, 
and I ordered him to sell the house and all the immovable 
possessions, charging him with the care of the old and 
young, and set forth at once on a journey in order to escape 
from this wretch. I then arrived in your country, where I 
took up my abode, and have remained a considerable time; 
and when ye invited me, and I came unto you, I saw this 
vile wretch among you, seated at the upper end of the 
room. How, then, can my heart be at ease, or my sitting 
in your company be pleasant to me, with this fellow, who 
hath brought these events upon me, and been the cause of 
the breaking of my leg? 

The young man still persevered in his refusal to remain 
with us; and when we had heard his story, we said to the 
barber. Is this true which the young man hath said of thee ? 
— By Allah, he answered, it was through my intelligence 
that I acted thus towards him; and had I not done so, he 
had perished: myself only was the cause of his escape; 
and it was through the goodness of God, by my means, that 
he was afflicted by the breaking of his leg instead of being 
punished by the loss of his life. Were I a person of many 
words, I had not done him this kindness; and now I will 
relate to you an event that happened to me, that ye may 
believe me to be a man of few words, and less of an im- 
pertinent than my brothers; and it was this: — 

The Barber's Story of Himself 

I WAS living in Baghdad, in the reign of the Prince of 
the Faithful El-Muntasir bi-llah.*' who loved the poor and 

^Great-grandson of Harun Er-Rashid; acceded 86i a. d. 


indigent, and associated with the learned and virtuous; and 
it happened, one day, that he was incensed against ten 
persons, in consequence of which, he ordered the chief 
magistrate of Baghdad to bring them to him in a boat. I 
saw them, and I said within myself, These persons have 
assembled for nothing but an entertainment, and, I suppose, 
will pass their day in this boat eating and drinking; and 
none shall be their companion but myself: — so I embarked, 
and mixed myself among them ; and when they had landed 
on the opposite bank, the guards of the Wali came with 
chains, and put them upon their necks, and put a chain 
upon my neck also. — Now this, O people, is it not a proof 
of my generosity, and of my paucity of speech? For I 
determined not to speak. — They took us, therefore, all 
together, in chains, and placed us before El-]\Iuntasir bi- 
llah, the Prince of the Faithful; whereupon he gave orders 
to strike off the heads of the ten; and the executioner 
struck off the heads of the ten, and I remained. The 
Khalifeh then turning his eyes, and beholding me, said to 
the executioner. Wherefore dost thou not strike off the 
heads of all the ten ? He answered, I have beheaded 
every one of the ten. — I do not think, rejoined the Khali- 
feh, that thou hast beheaded more than nine; and this who 
is before me is the tenth. But the executioner replied, By 
thy beneficence, they are ten. — Count them, said the Khali- 
feh. And they counted them ; and lo, they were ten. 
The Khalifeh then looked towards me, and said, What 
hath induced thee to be silent on this occasion ; and how 
hast thou become included among the men of blood ? — And 
when I heard the address of the Prince of the Faithful, I 
said to him, O Prince of the Faithful, that I am the 
sheykh Es-Samit (the Silent) : I possess, of science, a large 
stock; and as to the gravity of my understanding, and the 
quickness of my apprehension, and the paucity of my 
speech, they are unbounded: my trade is that of a barber; 
and yesterday, early in the morning, I saw these ten men 
proceeding to the boat ; whereupon I mixed myself with 
them, and embarked with them, thinking that they had met 
together for an entertainment; but soon it appeared that 
they were criminals; and the guards came to them, and 


put chains upon their necks, and upon my neck also they 
put a chain; and from the excess of my generosity I was 
silent, and spoke not : my speech was not heard on that 
occasion, on account of the excess of my generosity; and 
they proceeded with us until they stationed us before 
thee, and thou gavest the order to strike off the heads of 
the ten, and I remained before the executioner, and 
acquainted you not with my case. Was not this great 
generosity which compelled me to accompany them to 
slaughter? But throughout my life I have acted in this 
excellent manner. 

When the Khalifeh heard my words, and knew that I 
was of a very generous character, and of few words, and not 
inclined to impertinence as this young man, whom I delivered 
from horrors, assertcth, he said, Hast thou brothers? I 
answered. Yes : six. — And are thy six brothers, said he, like 
thyself, distinguished by science and knowledge, and paucity 
of speech? I answered. They lived not so as to be like 
me: thou hast disparaged me by thy supposition, O Prince 
of the Faithful, and it is not proper that thou shouldst com- 
pare my brothers to me ; for through the abundance of their 
speech, and the smallness of their generous qualities, each 
of them experienced a defect : the first was lame ; the 
second, deprived of many of his teeth ; the third, blind ; 
the fourth, one-eyed ; the fifth, cropped of his ears ; and 
the sixth had both his lips cut off: and think not, O Prince 
of the Faithful, that I am a man of many words: nay, I 
must prove to thee that I am of a more generous character 
than they ; and each of them met with a particular adven- 
ture, in consequence of which he experienced a defect : if 
thou please, I will relate their stories to thee. 

The Barber's Story of His First Brother 

Kxow, O Prince of the Faithful, that the first (who was 
named El-Bakbuk) was the lame one. He practised the 
art of a tailor in Baghdad, and used to sew in a shop which 
he hired of a man possessing great wealth, who lived over 
the shop, and who had, in the lower part of his house, a 
mill. And as my lame brother was sitting in his shop ono 


day, sewing, he raised his head, and saw a woman Uke the 
rising full moon, at a projecting window of the house, look- 
ing at the people passing by; and as soon as he beheld her, 
his heart was entangled by her love. He passed that day 
gazing at her, and neglecting his occupation, until the even- 
ing; and on the following morning he opened his shop, and 
sat down to sew; but every time that he sewed a stitch, he 
looked towards the window; and in this state he continued, 
sewing nothing sufficient to earn a piece of silver. 

On the third day he seated himself again in his place, 
looking towards the woman; and she saw him, and, per- 
ceiving that he had become enslaved by her love, laughed 
in his face, and he, in like manner, laughed in her face. She 
then disappeared from before him, and sent to him her slave- 
girl, with a wrapper containing a piece of red flowered silk; 
and the girl, coming to him, said to him. My mistress 
saluteth thee, and desireth thee to cut out for her, with the 
hand of skill, a shirt of this piece, and to sew it beautifully. 
So he answered, I hear and obey: — and he cut out for her 
the shirt, and finished the sewing of it on that day; and on 
the following day the slave-girl came to him again, and said 
to him. My mistress saluteth thee, and saith to thee, How 
didst thou pass last night? — for she tasted not sleep, from 
her passion for ,thee. — She then placed before him a piece 
of yellow satin, and said to him, My mistress desireth thee 
to cut out for her, of this piece, two pairs of trousers, and to 
make them this day. He replied, I hear and obey. Salute 
her with abundant salutations, and say to her. Thy slave is 
submissive to thine order, and command him to do whatso- 
ever thou wilt. — He then busied himself with the cutting out, 
and used all diligence in sewing the two pairs of trousers ; 
and presently the woman looked out at him from the window, 
and saluted him by a sign, now casting down her eyes, and 
now smiling in his face, so that he imagined he should soon 
obtain possession of her. After this, she disappeared from 
before him, and the slave-girl came to him ; so he delivered 
to her the two pairs of trousers, and she took them and 
departed: and when the night came, he threw himself upon 
his bed. and remained turning himself over in restlessness 
until the mornincr. 



On the following day, the master of the house came to 
my brother, bringing some linen, and said to him, Cut out 
and make this into shirts for me. He replied, I hear and 
obey : — and ceased not from his work until he had cut out 
twenty shirts by the time of nightfall, without having tasted 
food. The man then said to him. How much is thy hire for 
this? — but my brother answered not; and the damsel made 
a sign to him that he should receive nothing, though he was 
absolutely in want of a single copper coin. For three days 
he continued scarcely eating or drinking anything, in his 
diligence to accomplish his work, and when he had finished 
it, he went to deliver the shirts. 

Now the young woman had acquainted her husband with 
the state of my brother's mind, but my brother knew not 
this; and she planned with her husband to employ him in 
sewing without remuneration, and moreover to amuse them- 
selves by laughing at him : so, when he had finished all the 
work that they gave him, they contrived a plot against him, 
and married him to their slave-girl ; and on the night when 
he desired to introduce himself to her, they said to him. 
Pass this night in the mill, and to-morrow thou shalt enjoy 
happiness. My brother, therefore, thinking that their inten- 
tion was good, passed the night in the mill alone. Mean- 
while, the husband of the young woman went to the miller, 
and instigated him by signs to make my brother turn the 
mill. The miller, accordingly, went in to him at midnight, 
and began to exclaim. Verily this bull is lazy, while there is 
a great quantity of wheat, and the owners of the flour are 
demanding it: I will therefore yoke him in the mill, that 
he may finish the grinding of the flour : — and so saying, he 
yoked my brother, and thus he kept him until near morning, 
when the owner of the house came, and saw him yoked in 
the mill, and the miller flogging him with the whip; and he 
left him, and retired. After this, the slave-girl to whom he 
had been contracted in marriage came to him early in the 
morning, and, having unbound him from the mill, said to 
him, Both I and my mistress have been distressed by this 
which hath befallen thee, and we have participated in the 
burden of thy sorrow. But he had no tongue wherewith to 
answer her, by reason of the severity of the flogging. He 


then returned to his house; and lo, the sheykh who had 
performed the marriage-contract came and saluted him, 
saying, May God prolong thy life ! May thy marriage be 
blessed ! — May God not preserve the liar ! returned my 
brother: thou thousandfold villain! By Allah, I went only 
to turn the mill in the place of the bull until the morning. — 
Tell me thy story, said the sheykh : — and my brother told 
him what had happened to him: upon which the sheykh 
said, Thy star agreeth not with hers: but if thou desire that 
I should change for thee the mode of the contract, I will 
change it for another better than it, that thy star may agree 
with hers. — See then, replied my brother, if thou hast any 
other contrivance to employ. 

My brother then left him, and repaired again to his shop, 
hoping that somebody might give him some work, with the 
profit of which he might obtain his food ; and lo, the slave- 
girl came to him. She had conspired with her mistress to 
play him this trick, and said to him. Verily, my mistress is 
longing for thee, and she hath gone up to look at thy face 
from the window. And my brother had scarcely heard these 
words when she looked out at him from the window, and, 
weeping, said, Wherefore hast thou cut short the intercourse 
between us and thee? But he returned her no answer: so 
she swore to him that all that had happened to him in the 
mill was not with her consent : and when my brother beheld 
her beauty and loveliness, the troubles that had befallen him 
became effaced from his memory, and he accepted her 
excuse, and rejoiced at the sight of her. He saluted her, 
therefore, and conversed with her, and then sat a while at 
his work; after which the slave-girl came to him, and said, 
My mistress saluteth thee, and informcth thee that her hus- 
band hath determined to pass this next night in the house 
of one of his intimate friends ; wherefore, when he hath gone 
thither, do thou come to her. — Now the husband of the 
young woman had said to her. How shall we contrive when 
he Cometh to thee that I may take him and drag him before 
the Wali? She replied, Let me then play him a trick, and 
involve him in a disgrace for which he shall be paraded 
throughout this city as an example to others : — and my brother 
knew nothing of the craftiness of women. Accordingly, 


at the approach of evening, the slave-girl came to him, and, 
taking him by the hand, returned with him to her mis- 
tress, who said to him, Verily, O my master, I have been 
longing for thee. — Hasten then, said he, to give me a kiss, 
first of all. And his words were not finished when the young 
woman's husband came in from his neighbour's house, and, 
seizing my brother, exclaimed to him. By Allah, I will not 
loose thee but in the presence of the chief magistrate of the 
police. My brother humbled himself before him ; but, 
without listening to him, he took him to the house of the 
Wali, who flogged him with whips, and mounted him upon 
a camel, and conveyed him through the streets of the city, 
the people crying out, This is the recompense of him who 
breaketh into the harims of others ! — and he fell from the 
camel, and his leg broke : so he became lame. The Wali 
then banished him from the city; and he went forth, not 
knowing whither to turn his steps : but I, though enraged, 
overtook him, and brought him back ; and I have taken 
upon myself to provide him with meat and drink unto the 
present day. 

The Khali f eh laughed at my story, and exclaimed. Thou 
hast spoken well : — but I replied, I will not accept this 
honour until thou hast listened to me while I relate to thee 
what happened to the rest of my brothers; and think me 
not a man of many words. — Tell me, said the Khalifeh, what 
happened to all thy brothers, and grace my ears with these 
nice particulars : I beg thee to employ exuberance of diction 
in thy relation of these pleasant tales. 

The Barber's Story of His Second Brotpier 

So I said, Know, O Prince of the Faithful, that my second 
brother, whose name was El-Heddar, was going one day to 
transact some business, when an old woman met him, and 
said to him, O man, stop a little, that I may propose to thee 
a thing, which, if it please thee, thou shalt do for me. My 
brother, therefore, stopped ; and she said to him, I will 
guide thee to a thing, and rightly direct thee to it, on the 
condition that thy words be not many. So he said, Com- 
municate what thou hast to tell me : — and she proceeded 


thus : — What sayest thou of a handsome house, with running 
water, and fruit and wine, and a beautiful face to behold, 
and a smooth cheek to kiss, and an elegant form to embrace ; 
and to enjoy all these pleasures without interruption? Now, 
if thou wilt act agreeably with the condition that I have 
imposed upon thee, thou wilt see prosperity. — When my 
brother had heard her words, he said to her, O my mistress, 
how is it that thou hast sought me out in preference to all 
the rest of the creation for this affair; and what is there in 
me that hath pleased thee? She replied. Did I not say to 
thee that thou must not be a person of many words? Be 
silent then, and come with me. 

The old woman then went her way, my brother following 
her, eager to enjoy the pleasures which she had described 
to him, until they had entered a spacious house, when she 
went up with him to an upper story, and my brother per- 
ceived that he was in a beautiful palace, in which he beheld 
four damsels, than whom none more lovely had ever been 
seen, singing with voices that would charm a heart as 
insensible as stone. One of these damsels drank a cup of 
wine; and my brother said to her. May it be attended with 
health and vigour ! — and advanced to wait upon her ; but 
she prevented his doing so, giving him to drink a cup of 
wine; and as soon as he had drunk it, she slapped him on 
his neck. When he found that she treated him thus, he 
went out from t^ie chamber in anger, and with many words ; 
but the old woman, following him, made a sign to him with 
her eye that he should return: so he returned, and seated 
himself, without speaking; and upon this, the damsel slapped 
him again upon the back of his neck until he became sense- 
less; after which, recovering, he withdrew again. The old 
woman, however, overtook him, and said to him, Wait a 
little, and thou shalt attain thy wish. — How many times, 
said he, shall I wait a little before I attain it? The old 
woman answered, When she hath become exhilarated with 
wine thou shalt obtain her favour. He therefore returned 
to his place, and resumed his seat. All the four damsels 
then arose, and the old woman directed them to divest my 
brother of his outer clothes, and to sprinkle some rose-water 
upon his face; and .when they had done so, the most 


beautiful one among them said to him, May Allah exalt 
thee to honour! Thou hast entered my abode, and if thou 
have patience to submit to my requisitions, thou wilt attain 
thy wish. — O my mistress, he replied, I am thy slave, and 
under thy authority. — Know then, said she, that I am 
devotedly fond of frolic, and he who complieth with my 
demands will obtain my favour. Then she ordered the 
other damsels to sing; and they sang so that their hearers 
were in an ecstasy ; after which the chief lady said to one 
of the other damsels. Take thy master, and do what is 
required, and bring him back to me immediately. 

Accordingly, she took him away, ignorant of that which 
she was about to do ; and the old woman came to him, and 
said. Be patient; for there remaineth but little to do. He 
then turned towards the damsel, and the old woman said to 
him. Be patient: thou hast almost succeeded, and there 
remaineth but one thing, which is, to shave thy beard. — 
How, said he, shall I do that which will disgrace me among 
the people? The old woman answered. She desireth this 
only to make thee like a beardless youth, that there may be 
nothing on thy face to prick her; for her heart is affected 
with a violent love for thee. Be patient, therefore, and thou 
shalt attain thy desire. — So my brother patiently submitted 
to the damsel's directions : his beard was shaven, and he 
was shorn also of his eyebrows and mustaches, and his face 
was painted red, before the damsel took him back to the 
chief lady, who, when she saw him, was at first frightened 
at him, and then laughed until she fell backwards, and 
exclaimed, O my master, thou hast gained me by these 
proofs of thine amiable manners ! She then conjured him 
by her life to arise and dance ; and he did so ; and there 
was not a single cushion in the chamber that she did not 
throw at him. In like manner also the other damsels threw 
at him various things, such as oranges, and limes, and 
citrons, until he fell down senseless from the pelting, while 
they slapped him incessantly upon the back of his neck, and 
cast, things in his face. But at length the old woman said 
to him. Now thou hast attained thy wish. Know that there 
remaineth to thee no more beating, nor doth there remain 
for thee to do more than one thing, namely, this: it is her 


custom, when she is under the influence of wine, to suffer no 
one to come near her until she hath taken off her outer 
clothes: thou, being prepared in the like manner, must run 
after her, and she will run before thee as though she were 
flying from thee; but cease not to follow her from place to 
place until thou overtake her. He arose, therefore, and did 
so: the lady ran before, and as he followed her, she passed 
from chamber to chamber, and he still ran after her At 
last he heard her utter a slight sound as she ran before him, 
and, continuing his pursuit, he suddenly found himself in 
the midst of the street. 

This street was in the market of the leather-sellers, who 
were then crying skins for sale; and when the people there 
collected saw him in this condition, almost naked, with 
shaven beard and eyebrows and mustaches, and with his 
face painted red, they shouted at him, and raised a loud 
laugh, and some of them beat him with the skins until he 
became insensible. They then placed him upon an ass, 
and conducted him to the Wali, who exclaimed, What is 
this? — They answered. This descended upon us from the 
house of the Wezir, in this condition. And the Wali in- 
flicted upon him a hundred lashes,- and banished him from 
the city: but I went out after him, and brought him back 
privately into the city, and allotted him a maintenance. 
Had it not been for my generous disposition, I had not 
borne with such a person. 

The Barber's Story of His Third Brother 

As to my third brother (the blind man, Bakbak). who 
was also surnamed Kuffeh, fate and destiny impelled him 
one day to a large house, and he knocked at the door, 
hoping that its master would answer him, and that he might 
beg of him a trifle. The owner called out. Who is at the 
door? — but my brother answered not: and then heard him 
call with a loud voice, Who is this? Still, however, he 
returned him no answer: and he heard the sounds of his 
footsteps approaching until he came to the door and opened 
it, when he said to him. What dost thou desire? My 
brother answered, Something for the sake of God, whose 


name be exalted! — Art thou blind? said the man; and my 
brother answered, Yes. — Then give me thy hand, rejoined 
the master of the house ; — so my brother stretched forth to 
him his hand, and the man took him into the house, and 
led him up from stair-case to stair-case until he had ascended 
to the highest platform of the roof : my brother thinking 
that he was going to give him some food or money : and 
when he had arrived at this highest terrace of his house, the 
owner said. What dost thou desire, O blind man? — I desire 
something, he answered again, for the sake of God, whose 
name be exalted ! — May God, replied the man, open to thee 
some other way ! — What is this ! exclaimed my brother : 
couldst thou not tell me so when I was below ? — Thou 
vilest of the vile ! retorted the other : why didst thou not 
ask of me something for the sake of God when thou heardest 
my voice the first time, when thou wast knocking at the 
door? — What then, said my brother, dost thou mean to do 
to me? — The man of the house answered, I have nothing 
to give thee. — Then take me down the stairs, said my 
brother. The man replied. The way is before thee. So 
my brother made his way to the stairs, and continued 
descending until there remained, between him and the door, 
twenty steps, when his foot slipped and he fell, and, rolling 
down, broke his head. 

He went forth, not knowing whither to direct his steps, 
and presently there met him two blind men, his companions, 
who said to him, What hath happened to thee this day? 
;My brother, therefore, related to them the event that had 
just befallen him; and then said to them, O my brothers, I 
desire to take a portion of the money now in our possession, 
to expend it upon myself. — Now the owner of the house 
which he had just before entered had followed him to 
acquaint himself with his proceedings, and without my 
brother's knowledge he walked behind him until the latter 
entered his abode ; when he went in after him, still unknown. 
My brother then sat waiting for his companions ; and when 
they came in to him, he said to them, Shut the door, and 
search the room, lest any stranger have followed us. When 
the intruder, therefore, heard what he said, he arose, and 
clung to a rope that was attached to the ceiling; and the 


blind men went feeling about the whole of the chamber, 
and, finding no one, returned and seated themselves by my 
brother, and brought forth their money, and counted it ; 
and lo, it was more than ten thousand pieces of silver. 
Having done this, they laid it in a corner of the room, and 
each of them took of the surplus of that sum as much as he 
wanted, and they buried the ten thousand pieces of silver in 
the earth; after which, they placed before themselves some 
food, and sat eating; but my brother heard the sound of a 
stranger by his side, and said to his friends. Is there a 
stranger among us? Then stretching forth his hand, it 
grasped the hand of the intruder; whereupon he cried out 
to his companions, saying. Here is a stranger ! — and they 
fell upon him with blows until they were tired, when they 
shouted out, O Muslims ! a thief hath come in upon us, 
and dcsireth to take our property ! — and immediately a 
number of persons collected around them. 

Upon this, the stranger whom they accused of being a 
thief shut his eyes, feigning to be blind like themselves, so 
that no one who saw him doubted him to be so; and 
shouted, O Muslims ! I demand protection of Allah and the 
Sultan ! I demand protection of Allah and the Wali ! I 
demand protection of Allah and the Emir ! for I have 
important information to give to the Emir! — and before 
they could cdllect their thoughts, the officers of the Wali 
surrounded them and took them all, including my brother, 
and conducted them before their master. The Wali said, 
What is your story? — and the stranger replied. Hear my 
words, O Wali; the truth of our case will not become 
known to thee but by means of beating; and if thou wilt, 
begin by beating me before my companions. The Wali 
therefore said. Throw down this man, and flog him with 
whips: — and accordingly they threw him down and flogged 
him; and when the stripes tortured him, he opened one of 
his eyes; and after they had continued the flogging a little 
longer, he opened his other eye; upon which the Wali 
exclaimed. What meaneth this conduct. O thou villain? — 
Grant me indemnity, replied the man, and I will acquaint 
thee : — and the Wali having granted his request, he said. We 
four pretend that we are blind, and, intruding among other 


people, enter their houses, and see their women, and employ 
stratagems to corrupt them, and to obtain money from them. 
We have acquired, by these means, vast gain, amounting to 
ten thousand pieces of silver ; and I said to my companions. 
Give me my due, two thousand and five hundred ; and they 
rose against me and beat me, and took my property. I beg 
protection, therefore, of Allah and of thee; and thou art 
more deserving of my share than they. If thou desire to 
know the truth of that which I have said, flog each of them 
more than thou hast flogged me, and he will open his eyes. 

So the W'ali immediately gave orders to flog them; and 
the first of them who suffered w^as my brother. They con- 
tinued beating him until he almost died ; when the Wali 
said to them, O ye scoundrels ! do ye deny the gracious 
gift of God, feigning yourselves to be blind? My brother 
exclaimed, Allah ! Allah ! Allah ! there is none among us 
who seeth ! — They then threw him down again, and ceased 
not to beat him until he became insensible, when the Wali 
said, Leave him until he shall have recovered, and then 
give him a third flogging: — and in the meantime, he gave 
orders to flog his companions, to give each of them more 
than three hundred stripes; while the seeing man said to 
them, Open your eyes, or they will flog you again after this 
time. Then addressing himself to the Wali, he said, Send 
with me some person to bring thee the property; for these 
men will not open their eyes, fearing to be disgraced before 
the spectators. And the Wali sent with him a man, who 
brought him the money; and he took it, and gave to the 
informer, out of it, two thousand and five hundred pieces of 
silver, according to the share which he claimed, in spite of 
the others (retaining the rest), and banished from the city 
my brother and the two other men; but I went forth, O 
Prince of the Faithful, and, having overtaken my brother, 
asked him respecting his sufferings; and he acquainted me 
with that which I have related unto thee. I then brought 
him back secretly into the city, and allotted him a supply of 
food and drink as long as he lived. 

The Khalifeh laughed at my story, and said, Give him 
a present, and let him go: — but I replied, I will receive 
nothing until I have declared to the Prince of the Faithful 


what happened to the rest of my brothers, and made it 
manifest to him that I am a man of few words : — whereupon 
the KhaUfch said. Crack our ears, then, with thy ridiculous 
stories, and continue to us thy disclosure of vices and mis- 
deeds. So I proceeded thus : — 

The Barber's Story of His Fourth Brother 

My fourth brother, O Prince of the Faithful, was the 
one-eyed (named El-Kuz el Aswani) : he was a butcher in 
Baghdad, and both sold meat and reared lambs ; and the 
great and the rich had recourse to him to purchase of him 
their meat, so that he amassed great wealth, and became 
possessor of cattle and houses. Thus he continued to prosper 
for a long time; and as he was in his shop, one day, there 
accosted him an old man with a long beard, who handed to 
him some money, saying. Give me some meat for it. So he 
took the money, and gave him the meat ; and when the old 
man had gone away, my brother looked at the money which 
he had paid him, and, seeing that it was of a brilliant white- 
ness, put it aside by itself. This old man continued to 
repair to him during a period of five months, and my brother 
always threw ^lis money into a chest by itself; after which 
period he desired to take it out for the purpose of buying 
some sheep; but on opening the chest, he found all the 
contents converted into white paper, clipped round; and he 
slapped his face, and cried out; whereupon a number of 
people collected around him, and he related to them his 
story, at which they were astonished. 

He then went again, as usual, into his shop, and, having 
killed a ram and hung it up within the shop, he cut off 
some of the meat, and suspended it outside, saying within 
himself, Perhaps now this old man will come again, and if 
so, I will seize him: — and very soon after, the old man 
approached with his money; upon which my brother arose, 
and, laying hold upon him, began to cry out, O Muslims, 
come to my aid, and hear what this scoundrel hath done 
unto me ! But when the old man heard his words he said 
to him, Which will be more agreeable to thee — that thou 
abstain from disgracing me, or that I disgrace thee, before 


the people? — For what wilt thou disgrace me? said my 
brother. The old man answered, For thy seUing human 
flesh for mutton. — Thou liest, thou accursed ! exclaimed my 
brother. — None is accursed, rejoined the old man, but he 
who hath a man suspended in his shop. My brother said, 
If it be as thou hast asserted, my property and blood shall 
be lawful to thee: — and immediately the old man exclaimed, 
O ye people here assembled ! verily this butcher slaughtereth 
human beings, and selleth their flesh for mutton; and if ye 
desire to know the truth of my assertion, enter his shop ! 
So the people rushed upon his shop, and beheld the ram 
converted into a man, hung up, and they laid hold upon 
my brother, crying out against him, Thou infidel ! Thou 
scoundrel ! — and those who had been his dearest friends 
turned upon him and beat him ; and the old man gave him 
a blow upon his eye, and knocked it out. The people then 
carried the carcass, and took with them my brother, to the 
chief magistrate of the police; and the old man said to him, 
O Emir, this man slaughtereth human beings, and selleth 
their flesh for mutton; and we have therefore brought him 
to thee : arise, then, and perform the requisition of God, 
whose might and glory be extolled ! Upon this, the magis- 
trate thrust back my brother from him, and, refusing to 
listen to what he would have said, ordered that five hundred 
blows of a staff should be inflicted upon him, and took all 
his property. Had it not been for the great amount of his 
wealth, he had put him to death. He then banished him 
from the city. 

My brother, therefore, went forth in a state of distrac- 
tion, not knowing what course to pursue; but he journeyed 
onwards until he arrived at a great city, where he thought 
fit to settle as a shoemaker: so he opened a shop, and sat 
there working for his subsistence. And one day he went 
forth on some business, and, hearing the neighing of horses, 
he inquired respecting the cause, and was told that the King 
was going forth to hunt; whereupon he went to amuse him- 
self with the sight of the procession: but the King happen- 
ing to look on one side, his eye met that of my brother, and 
immediately he hung down his head, and exclaimed, I seek 
refuge with God from the evil of this day ! He then turned 


aside the bridle of his horse, and rode back, and all his 
troops returned with him ; after which, he ordered his pages 
to run after my brother, and to beat him ; and they did so ; 
giving him so severe a beating that he almost died; and he 
knew not the cause. He returned to his abode in a miser- 
able plight, and afterwards went and related his misfortune 
to one of the King's attendants, who laughed at the recital 
until he fell backwards, and said to him, O my brother, the 
King cannot endure the sight of a one-eyed person, and 
especially when the defect is that of the left eye ; for in this 
case, he faileth not to put the person to death. 

When my brother heard these words, he determined to 
fly from that city; and forthwith departed from it, and 
repaired to another city, where there w-as no King. Here 
he remained a long time ; and after this, as he was meditat- 
ing upon his adventure in the former city, he went out one 
day to amuse himself, and heard again the neighing of 
horses behind him ; upon which he exclaimed, The decree 
of God hath come to pass ! — and ran away, seeking for a 
place in which to conceal himself; but he found none, until, 
continuing his search, he saw a door set up as a barricade; 
so he pushed this, and it fell down ; and, entering the door- 
way, he beheld a long passage, into which he advanced. 
Suddenly, however, tw^o men laid hold upon him, and ex- 
claimed. Praise be to God who hath enabled us to take thee, 
O thou enemy of God ! For these three nights thou hast 
suffered us to enjoy neither quiet nor sleep, and we have 
found no repose: nay, thou hast given us a foretaste of 
death ! — O men, said my brother, what hath happened unto 
you? They answ^ered, Thou keepest a watch upon us, and 
desirest to disgrace us, and to disgrace the master of the 
house I Is it not enough for thee that thou hast reduced 
him to poverty, thou and thy companions? Produce now 
the knife wherewith thou threatenest us every night. — And 
so saying, they searched him, and found upon his w'aist the 
knife with which he cut the shoe-leather. — O men, he ex- 
claimed, fear God in your treatment of me. and know that 
my story is wonderful. They said. What then is thy story? 
So he related it to them, in the hope that they would liberate 
him : but they believed not what he said ; and, instead of 


shewing him any regard, they beat him, and tore his clothes ; 
whereupon, his body becoming exposed to their view, 
they discovered upon his sides the marks of beating with 
mikra'ahs, and exclaimed, O wretch ! these scars bear testi- 
mony to thy guilt. They then conducted him before the 
Wali, while he said within himself, I am undone for my 
transgressions, and none can deliver me but God, whose 
name be exalted ! And when he was brought before the 
Wali, the magistrate said to him, O thou scoundrel ! nothing 
but a heinous crime hath occasioned thy having been beaten 
with mikra'ahs: — and he caused a hundred lashes to be 
inflicted upon him ; after which, they mounted him upon a 
camel, and proclaimed before him. This is the recompense 
of him who breaketh into men's houses ! — But I had already 
heard of his misfortunes, and gone forth, and found him ; 
and I accompanied him about the city while they were 
making this proclamation, until they left him ; when I took 
him, and brought him back secretly into Baghdad, and 
apportioned him a daily allowance of food and drink. 

The Barber's Fifth Brother 

My fifth brother (El-Feshshar ["Alnaschar"]) was cropped 
of his ears, O Prince of the Faithful. He was a pauper, 
who begged alms by night, and subsisted upon what he thus 
acquired by day : and our father was a very old man, and he 
fell sick and died, leaving to us seven hundred pieces of silver, 
of which each of us took his portion ; namely, a hundred 
pieces. Now my fifth brother, when he had received his 
share, was perplexed, not knowing what to do with it; but 
while he was in this state, it occurred to his mind to buy 
with it all kinds of articles of glass, and to sell them and 
make profit: so he bought glass with his hundred pieces of 
silver, and put it in a large tray, and sat upon an elevated 
place, to sell it, leaning his back against a wall. And as he 
sat, he meditated, and said within himself. Verily my whole 
stock consisteth of this glass: I will sell it for two hundred 
pieces of silver ; and with the two hundred I will buy other 
glass which I will sell for four hundred ; and thus I will 
continue buying and selling until I have acquired great 


wealth. Then with this I will purchase all kinds of mer- 
chandise and essences and jewels, and so obtain vast gain. 
After that, I will buy a handsome house, and memluks, 
and horses, and gilded saddles ; and I will eat and drink ; 
and I will not leave in the city a single female singer but I 
will have her brought to my house that I may hear her 
songs. — All this he calculated with the tray of glass lying 
before him. — Then, said he, I will send all the female 
betrothers to seek in marriage for me the daughters of 
Kings and Wezirs ; and I will demand as my wife the 
daughter of the chief Wezir; for I have heard that she is 
endowed with perfect beauty and surprising loveliness ; and 
I will give as her dowry a thousand pieces of gold. If her 
father consent, my wish is attained ; and if he consent not, 
I will take her by force, in spite of him : and when I have 
come back to my house, I will buy ten young eunuchs, and 
I will purchase the apparel of Kings and Sultans, and cause 
to be made for me a saddle of gold set with jewels; after 
which I will ride every day upon a horse, with slaves behind 
me and before me, and go about through the streets and 
markets to amuse myself, while the people will salute me 
and pray for me. Then I will pay a visit to the Wezir, who 
is the father of the maiden, with memluks behind me and 
before me, and on my right hand and on my left ; and when 
he seeth me, 'he will rise to me, in humility, and seat me in 
his own place ; and he himself will sit down below me, 
because I am his son-in-law. I will then order one of the 
servants to bring a purse containing the pieces of gold which 
compose the dowry; and he will place it before the Wezir; 
and I will add to it another purse, that he may know my 
manly spirit and excessive generosity, and that the world is 
contemptible in my eye; and when he addresseth me with 
ten words, I will dnswer him with two. And I will return 
to my house ; and when any person cometh to me from the 
house of the Wezir, I will clothe him with a rich dress : but 
if any come with a present, I will return it ; I will certainly 
not accept it. Then, on the night of the bridal display, I 
will attire myself in the most magnificent of my dresses, and 
sit upon a mattress covered with silk ; and when my wife 
cometh to me, like the full moon, decked with her ornaments 


and apparel, I will command her to stand before me as 
stands the timid and the abject; and I will not look at her, 
on account of the haughtiness of my spirit and the gravity 
of my wisdom ; so that the maids will say, O our master 
and our lord, may we be thy sacrifice ! This thy wife, or 
rather thy handmaid, awaiteth thy kind regard, and is stand- 
ing before thee: then graciously bestow on her one glance; 
for the posture hath become painful to her. — Upon this, I 
will raise my head, and look at her with one glance, and 
again incline my head downwards ; and thus I will do until 
the ceremony of displaying her is finished ; whereupon they 
will conduct her to the sleeping-chamber ; and I will rise 
from my place, and go to another apartment, and put on my 
night-dress, and go to the chamber in which she is sitting, 
where I will seat myself upon the divan ; but I will not look 
towards her. The tirewomen will urge me to approach 
her; but I will not hear their words, and will order some 
of the attendants to bring a purse containing five hun- 
dred pieces of gold for them, and command them to 
retire from the chamber. And when they have gone, I 
will seat myself by the side of the bride ; but with averted 
countenance, that she may say. Verily this is a man of a 
haughty spirit. Then her mother will come to me, and will 
kiss my hands, and say to me, O my master, look upon thy 
handmaid with the eye of mercy ; for she is submissively 
standing before thee. But I will return her no answer. 
And she will kiss my feet, again and again, and will say, O 
my master, my daughter is young and hath seen no man 
but thee ; and if she experience from thee repugnance, her 
heart will break : incline to her, therefore, and speak to 
her, and calm her mind. And upon this I will look at her 
through the corner of my eye, and command her to remain 
standing before me, that she may taste the savour of 
humiliation, and know that I am the Sultan of the age. 
Then her mother will say to me, O my master, this is thy 
handmaid: have compassion upon her, and be gracious to 
her: — and she will order her to fill a cup with wine, and to 
put it to my mouth. So her daughter will say, O my lord, 
I conjure thee by Allah that thou reject not the cup from 
thy slave; for verily I am thy slave. But I will make her 


no reply; and she will urge me to take it, and will say. It 
must be drunk; and will put it to my mouth: and upon this, 
I will shake my hand in her face, and spurn her with my 
foot, and do thus. — So saying, he kicked the tray of glass, 
which, being upon a place elevated above the ground, 
fell, and all that was in it broke: there escaped nothing: and 
he cried out and said. All this is the result of my pride ! 
And he slapped his face, and tore his clothes; the passengers 
gazing at him, while he wept, and exclaimed, Ah ! O my 
grief ! 

The people were now repairing to perform the Friday- 
prayers; and some merely cast their eyes at him, while 
others noticed him not; but while he was in this state, de- 
prived of his whole property, and weeping, without inter- 
mission, a female approached him, on her way to attend the 
Friday-prayers : she was of admirable loveliness ; the odour 
of musk was diffused from her ; under her was a mule with a 
stuffed saddle covered with gold-embroidered silk; and with 
her was a number of servants; and when she saw the 
broken glass, and my brother's state and his tears, she was 
moved with pity for him, and asked respecting his case. 
She was answered, He had a tray of glass, by the sale of 
which to obtain his subsistence, and it is broken, and he is 
afflicted as thou seest: — and upon this, she called to one of 
the servants, paying, Give what thou hast with thee to this 
poor man. So he gave him a purse, and he took it, and 
•when he had opened it, he found in it five hundred pieces 
of gold, whereupon he almost died of excessive joy, and 
offered up prayers for his benefactress. 

He returned to his house a rich man, and sat reflecting, 
and lo, a person knocked at the door : he rose, therefore, 
and opened it; and beheld an old woman whom he knew 
not, and she said to him, O my son, know that the time of 
prayer hath almost expired, and I am not prepared by ablu- 
tion; wherefore I beg that thou wilt admit me into thy 
house, that I may perform it. He replied, I hear and obey; 
• — and, retiring within, gave her permission to enter; his 
mind still wandering from joy on account of the gold; and 
■when she had finished the ablution, she approached the spot 
where he was sitting, and there performed the prayers of 


two rek'ahs. She then offered up a supplication for my 
brother; and he thanked her, and doffed her two pieces of 
gold ; but when she saw this, she exclaimed, Extolled be 
God's perfection ! Verily I wonder at the person who fell 
in love with thee in thy beggarly condition ! Take back 
thy money from me, and if thou want it not, return it to 
her who gave it thee when thy glass broke. — O my mother, 
said he, how can I contrive to obtain access to her? She 
answered, O my son, she hath an affection for thee ; but 
she is the wife of an affluent man; take then with thee all 
thy money, and when thou art with her be not deficient in 
courteousness and agreeable words ; so shalt thou obtain 
of her favours and her wealth whatever thou shalt desire. 
My brother, therefore, took all the gold, and arose and 
went with the old woman, hardly believing what she had 
told him ; and she proceeded, and my brother behind her, 
until they arrived at a great door, at which she knocked; 
whereupon a Greek damsel came and opened the door, and 
the old woman entered, ordering my brother to do the 
same. He did so, and found himself in a large house, where 
he beheld a great furnished chamber, with curtains hung 
in it; and, seating himself there, he put down the gold before 
him, and placed his turban on his knees ; and scarcely had 
he done so, when there came to him a damsel, the like of 
whom had never been seen, attired in most magnificent ap- 
parel. My brother stood up at her approach ; and when she 
beheld him she laughed in his face, and rejoiced at his visit: 
then going to the door, she locked it; after which she re- 
turned to my brother, and took his hand, and both of them 
went together into a private chamber, carpeted with various 
kinds of silk, where my brother sat down, and she seated 
herself by his side, and toyed with him for a considerable 
time. She then rose, saying to him. Move not, from this 
place until I return to thee; — and was absent from him for 
a short period ; and as my brother was waiting for her, there 
came in to him a black slave, of gigantic stature, with a 
drawn sword, the brightness of which dazzled the sight ; and 
he exclaimed to my brother, Wo to thee ! Who brought 
thee to this place? .Thou vilest of men! Thou misbegotten 
wretch, and nursling of impunity ! — My brother was unable 


to make any reply ; his tongue was instantly tied ; and the 
slave laid hold upon him, and stripped him, and struck him 
more than eighty blows with the flat of his sword, until he 
fell sprawling upon the floor; when he retired from him, 
concluding that he was dead, and uttered a great cry, so 
that the earth trembled, and the place resounded at his voice, 
saying. Where is El-Melihah ? — upon which a girl came to 
him, holding a handsome tray containing salt; and with this 
she forthwith stuffed the flesh wounds with which my 
brother's skin was gashed until they gaped open; but he 
moved not, fearing the slave would discover that he was 
alive, and kill him. The girl then went away, and the slave 
uttered another cry, like the first, whereupon the old woman 
came to my brother, and dragging him by the feet to a deep 
and dark vault, threw him into it upon a heap of slain. In 
this place he remained for two whole days; and God (whose 
perfection be extolled!) made the salt to be the means of 
preserving his life, by stanching the flow of blood from his 
veins; so, when he found that he had strength sufficient to 
move, he arose, and, opening a shutter in the wall, emerged 
from the place of the slain ; and God (to whom be ascribed 
all might and glory!) granted him his protection. He 
therefore proceeded in the darkness^ and concealed him- 
self in the passage until morning, when the old woman 
went forth to seek another victim, and my brother, going 
out after her, without her knowledge, returned to his house. 
He now occupied himself with the treatment of his wounds 
until he was restored ; and continued to watch for the old 
woman, and constantly saw her taking men. one after another, 
and conducting them to the same house. But he uttered not 
a word on the subject; and when his health returned, and 
his strength was completely renewed, he took a piece of rag, 
and made of it a purse, which he filled with pieces of glass : 
he then tied it to his waist, and disguised himself so that no 
one would know him, in the dress of a foreigner; and. taking 
a sword, placed it within his clothes ; and as soon as he saw 
the old woman, he said to her, in the dialect of a foreig^ier, 
Old woman, hast thou a pair of scales fit for weighing nine 
hundred pieces of gold? The old woman answered, I have a 
young son, a money-changer, and he hath all kinds of scales ; 


therefore accompany me to him before he go forth from 
his abode, that he may weigh for thee thy gold. So my 
brother said, Walk on before me: — and she went, and my 
brother followed her until she arrived at the door, and 
knocked; upon which the girl came out, and laughed in his 
face ; and the old woman said to her, I have brought you to- 
day some fat meat. The girl then took my brother's hand, 
and conducted him into the house (the same which he had 
entered before), and after she had sat with him a short time, 
she rose, saying to him. Quit not this place until I return 
to thee : — and she retired ; and my brother had remained not 
long after when the slave man came to him with the drawn 
sword, and said to him, Rise, thou unlucky ! So my brother 
rose, and, as the slave walked before him, he put his hand 
to the sword which was concealed beneath his clothes, and 
struck the slave with it, and cut off his head; after which 
he dragged him by his feet to the vault, and called out, 
Where is El-Melihah? The slave-girl, therefore, came, 
having in her hand the tray containing the salt ; but when she 
saw my brother with the sword in his hand, she turned back 
and fled: my brother, however, overtook her, and struck 
off her head. He then called out, Where is the old woman ? 
— and she came; and he said to her. Dost thou know me, O 
malevolent hag? She answered. No, O my lord. — I am, said 
he, the man who had the pieces of gold, and in whose house 
thou performedst the ablution, and prayedst ; after which, 
devising a stratagem against me, thou betrayedst me into 
this place. — The old woman exclaimed. Fear God in thy 
treatment of me ! — but my brother, turning towards her, 
struck her with the sword, and clove her in twain. He then 
went in search for the chief damsel, and when she saw him, 
her reason fled, and she implored his pardon ; whereupon he 
granted her his pardon, and said to her. What occasioned 
thy falling into the hands of this black? She answered, I 
was a slave to one of the merchants, and this old woman 
used to visit me; and one day she said to me, We are cele- 
brating a festivity, the like of which no one hath seen, and 
I have a desire that thou shouldst witness it. I replied, I 
hear and obey: — and arose, and clad myself in the best of 
my attire, and, taking with me a purse containing a hundred 



pieces of gold, proceeded with her until she entered this 
house, when suddenly this black took me, and I have con- 
tinued with him in this state three years, through the strata- 
gem of the old witch. — My brother then said to her, Is there 
any property of his in the house? — Abundance, she an- 
swered; and if thou canst remove it, do so: — and upon this. 
he arose and went with her, when she opened to him chests 
filled with purses, at the sight of which he was confounded; 
and she said to him. Go now, and leave me here, and bring 
some person to remove the property. So he want out, and, 
having hired ten men, returned; but on his arrival at the 
door, he found it open, and saw neither the damsel nor the 
purses; he found, however, some little money remaining, and 
the stufifs. He discovered, therefore, that she had eluded 
him ; and he took the money that remained, and, opening the 
closets, took all the stuffs which they contained, leaving 
nothing in the house. 

He passed the next night full of happiness; but when 
the morning came, he found at the door twenty soldiers, 
and on his going forth to them, they laid hold upon him, 
saying, The Wall summoneth thee. So they took him, and 
conducted him to the Wali, who, when he saw him, said to 
him. Whence obtainedst thou these stuffs? — Grant me in- 
demnity, said' my brother: — and the Wali gave him the 
handkerchief of indemnity ; and my brother related to him 
all that had befallen him with the old woman from first to 
last, and the flight of the damsel ; adding, — and of that 
which I have taken, take thou what thou wilt; but leave me 
wherewith to procure my food. The Wali thereupon de- 
manded the whole of the money and the stuffs; but fearing 
that the Sultan might become acquainted with the matter, 
he retained a portion only, and gave the rest to my brother, 
saying to him, Quit this city, or I will hang thee. Aly 
brother replied, I hear and obey : — and went forth to one 
of the surrounding cities. Some robbers, however, came 
upon him, and stripped and beat him, and cut off his ears; 
and I, having heard of his situation, went forth to him, tak- 
ing to him some clothes; and brought him back prixily into 
the city, and supplied him with daily food and drink. 


The Barber's Story of His Sixth Brother 

My sixth brother (Shakalik), O Prince of the Faithful, 
had his lips cut ofif. He was in a state of extreme poverty, 
possessing nothing of the goods of this perishable world; 
and he went forth one day to seek for something with which 
to stay his departing spirit, and on his way he beheld a 
handsome house, with a wide and lofty vestibule, at the door 
of which were servants, commanding and forbidding; where- 
upon he inquired of one of the persons standing there, who 
answered, This house belongeth to a man of the sons of the 
Barmekis. My brother, therefore, advanced to the door- 
keepers, and begged them to give him something; and they 
said. Enter the door of the house, and thou wilt obtain what 
thou desirest of its master. So he entered the vesti1)ule, 
and proceeded through it a while until he arrived at a man- 
sion of the utmost beauty and elegance, having a garden in 
the midst of it, unsurpassed in beauty by anything that had 
ever been seen : its floors were paved with marble, and its 
curtains were hanging around. He knew not in which 
direction to go; but advanced to the upper extremity; and 
there he beheld a man of handsome countenance and beard, 
who, on seeing my brother, rose to him, and welcomed him, 
inquiring respecting his circumstances. He accordingly in- 
formed him that he was in want; and when the master of 
the house heard his words, he manifested excessive grief, 
and, taking hold of his own clothes, rent them, and ex- 
claimed. Am I in the city, and thou in it hungry? It is a 
thing that I cannot endure ! — Then promising him every 
kind of happiness, he said. Thou must stay and partake of my 
salt. But my brother replied, O my master, I have not 
patience to wait ; for I am in a state of extreme hunger. 

Upon this, the master of the house called out, Boy, bring 
the basin and evv^er ! — and he said, O my guest, advance, and 
wash thy hand. He then performed the same motions as if 
he were washing his hand ; and called to his attendants to 
bring the table; whereupon they began to come and go as 
though they were preparing it; after which the master of 
the house took my brother, and sat down with him at this 


imaginary table, and proceeded to move his hands and 
lips as if he were eating; saying to my brother, Eat, and be 
not ashamed, for thou art hungry, and I know how 
thou art suffering from the violence of thy hunger. My 
brother, therefore, made the same motions, as if he also 
were eating, while his host said to him. Eat, and observe 
this bread and its whiteness. To this, my brother at first 
made no reply ; but observed in his own mind, Verily this 
is a man who lovcth to jest with others: — so he said to him, 
O my master, in my life I have never seen bread more 
beautifully white than this, or any of sweeter taste: — on 
which the host rejoined, This was made by a female slave 
of mine whom I purchased for five hundred pieces of gold. 
He then called out, Boy, bring to us the sikbaj," the like 
of which is not found among the dishes of Kings ! — and, 
addressing my brother, he said. Eat, O my guest; for thou 
art hungry, vehemently so and in absolute want of food. 
So my brother began to twist about his mouth, and to chew, 
as in eating. The master of the house now proceeded to 
demand different kinds of viands, one after another; and, 
though nothing was brought, he continued ordering my 
brother to eat. Next he called out, Boy, place before us 
the chickens stuffed with pistachio-nuts : — and said to his 
guest. Eat that of which thou hast never tasted the like. — O 
my master, replied my brother, verily this dish hath not its 
equal in sweetness or flavour : — and the host, thereupon, 
began to put his hand to my brother's mouth as though he 
were feeding him with morsels ; and proceeded to enumerate 
to him the various different kinds of viands, and to describe 
their several excellencies ; while his hunger so increased 
that he longed for a cake of barley-bread. The master of 
the house then said to him, Hast thou tasted anything more 
delicious than the spices in these dishes ? — No, O my master, 
answered my brother. — Eat more then, resumed the host ; 
and be not ashamed. — I have eaten enough of the meats, 
replied the guest. So the man of the house called to his 
attendants to bring the sweets ; and they moved their hands 
about in the air as if they were bringing them; whereupon 
the host said to my brother, Eat of this dish; for it is 

19 A dish composed of meat, wheat-flour, and vinegar. 


excellent; and of these kataif/' by my life! and take this 
one before the sirup runs from it. — May I never be deprived 
of thee, O my master ! exclaimed my brother, proceeding 
to inquire of him respecting the abundance of musk in the 
kataif. — This, answered the host, is my usual custom in 
my house: they always put for me, in each of the kataif, a 
mithkal'* of musk, and half a mithkal of ambergris. — All 
this time my brother was moving his head and mouth, and 
rolling about his tongue between his cheeks, as if he were 
enjoying the sweets. After this, the master of the house 
called out to his attendants. Bring the dried fruits ! — and 
again they moved about their hands in the air as though 
they were doing what he ordered; when he said to my 
brother. Eat of these almonds, and of these walnuts, and of 
these raisins ; — and so on ; enumerating the various kinds 
of dried fruits; and added again. Eat, and be not ashamed. 
— O my master, replied my brother, I have had enough, 
and have not power to eat anything more: — but the host 
rejoined. If thou desire, O my guest, to eat more, and to 
delight thyself with extraordinary dainties, by Allah ! by 
Allah ! remain not hungry. 

My brother now reflected upon his situation, and upon 
the manner in which this man was jesting with him, and said 
within himself, By Allah, I will do to him a deed that shall 
make him repent before God of these actions ! The man of 
the house next said to his attendants, Bring us the wine: — 
and, as before, they made the same motions with their hands 
in the air as if they were doing what he commanded; after 
which he pretended to hand to my brother a cup, saying, Take 
this cup, for it will delight thee : — and his guest replied, O 
my master, this is of thy bounty: — and he acted with his 
hand as though he were drinking it. — Hath it pleased thee? 
said the host. — O my master, answered my brother, I have 
never seen anything more delicious than this wine. — Drink 
then, rejoined the master of the house, and may it be 
attended with benefit and health: — and he himself pretended 
to drink, and to hand a second cup to my brother, who, 
after he had affected to drink it, feigned himself intoxicated, 

'' Small pancakes or other sweet pastry, 
^ The weight of a dinar. 


and, taking his host unawares, raised his hand until the 
whiteness of his arm-pit appeared, and struck him such a 
slap upon his neck that the chamber rang at the blow; and 
this he followed by a second blow; whereupon the man 
exclaimed, What is this, thou vilest of the creation? — O my 
master, answered my brother, I am thy slave, whom thou 
hast graciously admitted into thine abode, and thou hast 
fed him with thy provisions, and treated him with old wine, 
and he hath become intoxicated, and committed an outrage 
upon thee; but thou art of too exalted dignity to be angry 
with him for his ignorance. 

When the inaster of the house heard these words of my 
brother, he uttered a loud laugh, and said to him. Verily for 
a long time have I made game of men, and jested with all 
persons accustomed to joking and rudeness, but I have not 
seen among them any who could endure this trick, nor any 
who had sagacity to conform to all my actions, except thee: 
now therefore, I pardon thee; and be thou my companion 
in reality, and never relinquish me. He then gave orders 
to bring a number of the dishes above mentioned, and he 
and my brother ate together to satisfaction ; after which they 
removed to the drinking-chamber, where female slaves like 
so many moons sang all kinds of melodies, and played on 
all kinds of nhusical instruments. There they drank until 
intoxication overcame them : the master of the house treated 
my brother as a familiar friend, became greatly attached to 
him, and clad him with a costly dress; and on the following 
morning they resumed their feasting and drinking. Thus 
they continued to live for a period of twenty years: the man 
then died, and the Sultan seized upon his property, and 
took possession of it. 

My brother, upon this, went forth from the city, a 
fugitive; and upon his way, a party of Arabs came upon 
him. They made him a captive; and the man who 
captured him tortured him with beating, and said to him, 
By Allah, purchase thyself of me by wealth, or I will kill 
thee: — but my brother, weeping, replied. By Allah, I possess 
nothing, O Sheykh of the Arabs ; nor do I know the means 
of obtaining any property: I am thy captive; I have fallen 
into thy hands, and do with me what thou wilt. And 


immediately the tyrannical Bcdawi drew forth from his 
girdle a broad-bladcd knife (such as, if pUmgcd into the 
neck of a camel, would cut it across from one jugular vein 
to the other) and, taking it in his right hand, approached 
my poor brother, and cut off with it his lips ; still urging his 

Now this Bedawi had a handsome wife, who, when he 
was absent, used to manifest a strong affection for my 
brother; though he observed a proper decorum towards her, 
fearing God (whose name be exalted!), and it happened 
one day, that she had called him, and seated him with her; 
but while they were together, lo, her husband came in upon 
them ; and when he beheld my brother, he exclaimed. Wo 
to thee, thou base wretch ! Dost thou desire now to 
corrupt my wife? — Then drawing his knife, he inflicted upon 
him another cruel wound; after which he mounted him 
upon a camel, and having cast him upon a mountain, left 
him there, and went his way. Some travellers, however, 
passed by him, and when they discovered him, they gave 
him food and drink, and acquainted me with his case, so I 
went forth to him, and conveyed him back into the city, 
and allotted him a sufficient maintenance. 

Now I have come unto thee, O Prince of the Faithful, 
continued the barber, and feared to return to my house 
without relating to thee these facts ; for to neglect doing so 
had been an error. Thus thou hast seen that, although 
having six brothers, I am of a more upright character than 
they. — But when the Prince of the Faithful had heard my 
story, and all that I had related to him respecting my 
brothers, he laughed, and said. Thou hast spoken truth, 
O Samit (O silent man) ; thou art a person of few words, 
and devoid of impertinence ; now, however, depart from 
this city, and take up thine abode in another. So he 
banished me from Baghdad; and I journeyed through 
various countries, and traversed many regions, until I heard 
of his death, and of the succession of another Khalifeh; 
when returning to my city, I met with this young man, unto 
whorn I did the best of deeds, and who, had it not been for 
me, had been slain : yet he hath accused me of that which 
is not in my character; for all that he hath related of me, 


with respect to impertinence, and loquacity, and dulness. and 
want of taste, is false, O people, — 

The tailor then proceeded thus: — When we heard the 
story of the barber, and were convinced of his impertinence 
and loquacity, and that the young man had been treated 
unjustly by him, we seized hold upon him, and put him in 
confinement, and, seating ourselves to keep watch over 
him, ate and drank; and the feast was finished in the most 
agreeable manner. We remained sitting together until the 
call to afternoon-prayers, when I went forth, and returned 
to my house; but my wife looked angrily at me, and said, 
Thou hast been all the day enjoying thy pleasure while I 
have been sitting at Home sorrowful; now if thou go not 
forth with me and amuse me for the remainder of the day, 
thy refusal will be the cause of my separation from thee. 
So I took her and went out with her, and we amused our- 
selves until nightfall, when, returning home, we met this 
humpback, full of drink, and repeating verses ; upon which 
I invited him to come home with us and he consented. I 
then went forth to buy some fried fish, and having bought 
it and returned, we sat down to eat; and my wife took a 
morsel of bread and a piece of fish, and put them into his 
mouth, and choked him, so that he died; whereupon I took 
him up, and contrived to throw him into the house of this 
physician, and he contrived to throw him into the house of 
the steward, and the steward contrived to throw him in 
the way of the broker. — This is the story of what happened 
to me yesterday. Is it not more wonderful than that of the 
humpback ? 

When the King had heard this story, he ordered certain 
of his chamberlains to go with the taildr, and to bring the 
b?rber; saying to them, His presence is indispensable, that 
I may hear his talk, and it may be the cause of the deliver- 
ance of you all : then we will bury this humpback decently 
in the earth, for he hath been dead since yesterday : and 
we will make him a monument round his grave, since he 
hath been the occasion of our acouaintance with these 
wonderful stories 


The chamberlains and the tailor soon came back, after 
having gone to the place of confinement and brought the 
barber, whom they placed before the King; and when the 
King beheld him, he saw him to be an old man, passed his 
ninetieth year, of dark countenance, and white beard and 
eyebrows, with small ears, and long nose, and a haughty 
aspect. The King laughed at the sight of him and said to 
him, O silent man, I desire that thou relate to me somewhat 
of thy stories. — O King of the age, replied the barber, what 
is the occasion of the presence of this Christian and this 
Jew and this Muslim, and this humpback lying dead among 
you; and what is the reason of this assembly? — Wherefore 
dost thou ask this? said the King. The barber answered,' 
I ask it in order that the King may know me to be no 
impertinent person, nor one who meddleth with that which 
doth not concern him, and that I am free from the loquacity 
of which they accuse me: for I am fortunate in my charac- 
teristic appellation, since they have surnamed me Es-Samit; 
and, as the poet hath said, — 

Seldom hast thou seen a person honoured with a surname, but thou 
wilt find, if thou search, that his character is expressed by it. 

The King therefore said. Explain to the barber the case of 
this humpback, and what happened to him yesterday even- 
ing, and explain to him also what the Christian hath related, 
and the Jew and the steward and the tailor. So they re- 
peated to him the stories of all these persons. 

The barber, thereupon, shook his head, saying, By Allah, 
this is a wonderful thing ! Uncover this humpback that I 
may examine him. — And they did so. He then seated him- 
self at his head, and, taking it up, placed it upon his lap, 
and looked at his face, and laughed so violently that he fell 
backwards, exclaiming, For every death there is a cause; 
and the death of this humpback is most wonderful: it is 
worthy of being registered in the records, that posterity may 
be instructed by this event ! — The King, astonished at his 
words, said, O Samit, explain to us the reason of thy saying 
this. — O King, replied the barber, by thy beneficence, life is 
yet in the humpback ! He then drew forth from his bosom 
a pot containing some ointment, and with this he anointed 


the neck of the humpback ; after which he covered it up 
until it perspired; when he took forth an iron forceps, and 
put it down his throat, and extracted the piece of fish with 
its bone, and all the people saw them. The humpback now 
sprang upon his feet, and sneezed, and, recovering his con- 
sciousness, drew his hands over his face, and exclaimed, 
There is no Deity but God ! Mohammad is God's Apostle ! 
God bless and save him ! — and all who were present were 
astonished at the sight, and the King laughed until he 
became insensible ; as did also the other spectators. The 
King exclaimed, By Allah, this accident is wonderful ! I 
have never witnessed anything more strange ! — and added, 
O Muslims ! O assembly of soldiers ! have ye ever in the 
course of your lives seen any one die and after that come to 
life? But had not God blessed him with this barber, the 
humpback had been to-day numbered among the people 
of the other world; for the barber hath been the means 
of restoring him to life. — They replied, This is indeed a 
wonderful thing! 

The King then gave orders to record this event ; and 
when they had done so, he placed the record in the royal 
library; and he bestowed dresses of honour upon the Jew 
and the Christian and the steward; upon each of them, a 
costly dress ; the tailor he appointed to be his own tailor, 
granting him regular allowances, and reconciling him and 
the humpback with each other : the humpback he honoured 
with a rich and beautiful dress, and with similar allowances, 
and appointed him his cup-companion ; and upon the 
barber also he conferred the like favours, rewarding him 
with a costly dress of honour, regular allowances, and a fixed 
salary, and appointing him state-barber, and his owti cup- 
companion: so they all lived in the utmost happiness and 
comfort until they were visited by the terminator of delights 
and the separator of friends. 

[Nights 32—36] 
The Story of Nuk-Ed-Din and Enis-El-Jelis 

THERE was, in El-Basrah, a certain King, who loved 
the poor and indigent, and regarded his subjects with 
benevolence; he bestowed of his wealth upon him who 
believed in Mohammad (God bless and save him!) and was 
such as one of the poets who have written of him hath 
thus described: — 

He used his lances as pens ; and the hearts of his enemies, as paper; 

their blood being his ink; 
And hence, I imagine, our forefathers applied to the lance the term 


The name of this King was Mohammad the son of Sulcyman 
Ez-Zeyni ; and he had two Wezirs ; one of whom was named 
El-Mo'in the son of Sawi ; and the other, El-Fadl the son 
of Khakan. El-Fadl the son of Khakan was the most 
generous of the people of his age, upright in conduct, so 
that all hearts agreed in loving him, and the wise complied 
with his counsel, and all the people supplicated for him 
length of life: for he was a person of auspicious aspect, a 
preventer of evil and mischief: but the Wezir El-Mo'in the 
son of Sawi hated others, and loved not good ; he was a 
man of inauspicious aspect; and in the same degree that 
the people loved Fadl-ed-Din the son of Khakan, so did 
they abhor El-Mo'in the son of Sawi in accordance with 
the decree of the Almighty, 

Now the King Mohammad the son of Suleyman Ez- 
Zenyi was sitting one day upon his throne, surrounded by 
the officers of his court, and he called to his Wezir El-Fadl 
the son of Khakan, and said to him, I desire a female slave 
unsurpassed in beauty by any in her age, of perfect loveli- 
ness and exquisite symmetry, and endowed with all praise- 
worthy qualities. — Such as this, replied his courtiers, is not 



to be found for less than ten thousand pieces of gold. And 
the Sultan thereupon called out to the treasurer, saying. 
Carry ten thousand pieces of gold to the house of El-Fadl 
the son of Khakan. So the treasurer did as he commanded, 
and the Wezir departed, after the Sultan had ordered him 
to repair every day to the market, and to commission the 
brokers to procure what he had described, and had com- 
manded also that no female slave of a greater price than 
one thousand pieces of gold should be sold without having 
been shewn to the Wezir. 

The brokers, therefore, sold no female slave without 
shewing her to him, and he complied with the King's com- 
mand, and thus he continued to do for a considerable time, 
no slave pleasing him : but on a certain day. one of the 
brokers came to the mansion of the Wezir El-Fadl, and 
found that he had mounted to repair to the palace of the 
King; and he laid hold upon his stirrup, and repeated these 
two verses : — 

O thou who hast reanimated what was rotten in the state ! Thou 

art the Wezir ever aided in Heaven. 
Thou hast revived the noble qualities that were extinct among men. 

May thy conduct never cease to be approved by God ! 

He then said, O my master, the female slave for the pro- 
curing of whom the noble mandate was issued hath arrived. 
The Wezir replied. Bring her hither to me. So the man 
returned, and, after a short absence, came again, accom- 
panied by a damsel of elegant stature, high-bosomed, with 
black eyelashes, and smooth cheek, and slender waist, and 
large hips, clad in the handsomest apparel ; the moisture of 
her lips was sweeter than syrup; her figure put to shame the 
branches of the Oriental willow ; and her speech was more 
soft than the zephyr passing over the flowers of the garden; 
as one of her describers hath thus expressed: — 

Her skin is like silk, and her speech is soft, neither redundant nor 

deficient : 
Her eyes, God said to them, Be. — and they were, affecting men's 

hearts with the potency of wine. 
May my love for her grow more warm each night, and cease not 

until the day of judgment! 


The locks on her brow are dark as night, while her forehead shines 
like the gleam of morning. 

When the Wezir beheld her, she pleased him extremely, 
and he looked towards the broker, and said to him, What is 
the price of this damsel? The broker answered, The price 
bidden for her hath amounted to ten thousand pieces of 
gold, and her owner hath sworn that this sum doth not 
equal the cost of the chickens which she hath eaten, nor 
the cost of the dresses which she hath bestowed upon her 
teachers; for she hath learnt writing and grammar and 
lexicology, and the interpretation of the Kur'an, and the 
fundamentals of law and religion, and medicine, and the 
computation of the calendar, and the art of playing upon 
musical instruments. The Wezir then said. Bring to me her 
master : — and the broker immediately brought him ; and lo. 
he was a foreigner, who had lived so long that time had 
reduced him to bones and skin, as the poet hath said, — 

How hath time made me to tremble ! For time is powerful and 

I used to walk without being weary ; but now I am weary and do 

not walk. 

And the Wezir said to him. Art thou content to receive 
for this damsel ten thousand pieces of gold from the Sultan 
Mohammad the son of Suleyman Ez-Zeyni ? The foreigner 
answered. As she is for the Sultan, it is incumbent on me to 
give her as a present to him, without price. So the Wezir, 
upon this, ordered that the money should be brought, and 
then weighed the pieces of gold for the foreigner ; after 
which, the slave-broker addressed the Wezir, and said. With 
the permission of our lord the Wezir. I will speak. — Impart 
what thou hast to say, replied the Wezir. — It is my opinion 
then, said the broker, that thou shouldst not take up this 
damsel to the Sultan to-day; for she hath just arrived from 
her journey, and the change of air hath affected her, and the 
journey hath fatigued her ; but rather let her remain with 
thee in thy palace ten days, that she may take rest, and her 
beauty will improve : then cause her to be taken into the 
bath, and attire her in clothes of the handsomest description, 
and go up with her to the Sultan: so shalt thou experience 


more abundant good- fortune. And the Wezir considered 
the advice of the slave-broker, and approved it. He there- 
fore took her into his palace, and gave her a private apart- 
ment to herself, allotting her every day what she required 
of food and drink and other supplies, and she continued a 
while in this state of enjoyment. 

Now the Wezir El-Fadl had a son like the shining full 
moon, with brilliant countenance, and red cheek, marked 
with a mole like a globule of ambergris, and with grey 
down. The youth knew not of this damsel, and his father 
had charged her, saying. Know that I have purchased thee 
for the King Mohammad the son of Suleyman Ez-Zeyni, 
and that I have a son who hath not left a girl in the quarter 
without making love to her: therefore keep thyself con- 
cealed from him, and beware of shewing him thy face, or 
suffering him to hear thy voice. The damsel replied, I hear 
and obey : — and he left her and departed. And it happened, 
as fate had ordained, that she went one day into. the bath 
which was in the house, and, after certain of the female 
slaves had bathed her, she attired herself in rich apparel, 
and her beauty and loveliness increased in consequence. 
She then went in to the Wezir's wife, and kissed her hand, 
and said to her. May it be favourable, O Enis-el-Jelis ! 
How didst thou find this bath? — O my mistress, she 
answered, I wanted nothing but thy presence there. And 
upon this, the mistress of the house said to the female 
slaves, Arise, and let us go into the bath. And they com- 
plied with her command, and went, accompanied by their 
mistress, who first charged two 3'oung slave-girls to keep the 
door of the private apartment in which was Enis-el-Jelis, 
saying to them, Suffer no one to go in to the damsel ; — and 
they replied. We hear and obey. But while Enis-el-Jelis 
was sitting in her chamber, lo, the Wezir's son, w^hose name 
was 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, came in, and asked after his mother 
and the family. The two girls answered, They are gone 
into the bath. Now the damsel Enis-el-Jelis heard the 
speech of 'Ali Nur-ed-Din as she sat in her chamber, and 
she said within herself, I wonder what this youth is like, of 
whom the Wezir hath told me that he hath not left a girl in 
the quarter without making love to her: by Allah, I have 


a desire to see him. She then rose upon her feet, fresh as 
she was from the bath, and, approaching the door of the 
chamber, looked at 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, and beheld him to be 
a youth like the full moon. The sight of him occasioned 
her a thousand sighs; and a look from the youth, at her, 
affected him also in the same manner. Each was caught in 
the snare of the other's love, and the youth approached the 
two slave-girls, and cried out at them; whereupon they fled 
from before him, and stopped at a distance, looking to see 
what he would do. He then advanced to the door of the 
chamber, and, opening it, went in, and said to the damsel, 
Art thou she whom my father hath purchased for me? She 
answered. Yes. And upon this, the youth, who was in a 
state of intoxication, went up to her, and embraced her, 
while she, in like manner, threw her arms around his neck, 
and kissed him. But the two slave-girls, having seen their 
young master enter the chamber of the damsel Enis-el-Jelis, 
cried out The youth, therefore, soon ran forth, and fled 
for safety, fearing the consequence of his intrusion ; and 
when the mistress of the house heard the cry of the two 
slave-girls, she came out dripping from the bath, saying. 
What is the cause of this cry in the house? And when she 
drew near to the two slave-girls whom she had placed at the 
door of the private chamber, she said to them. Wo to you ! 
What is the matter? — They answered, as soon as they 
beheld her, Our master 'Ali Nur-ed-Din came to us and 
beat us, and we fled from him, and he went into the chamber 
of Enis-el-Jelis, and when we cried out to thee he fled. 
The mistress of the house then went to Enis-el-Jelis, and 
said to her. What is the news? — O my mistress, she 
answered, as I was sitting here, a youth of handsome per- 
son came in to me, and said to me, Art thou she whom 
my father hath purchased for me? — And I answered, Yes. — 
By Allah, O my mistress, I believed that what he said was 
true; and he came up to me and embraced me, and kissed 
me three times, and left me overcome by his love. 

Upon this, the mistress of the house wept, and slapped 
her face, and her female slaves did the like, fearing for 'Ali 
Nur-ed-Din, lest his father should slay him ; and while they 
were in this state, lo, the Wezir came in, and inquired what 


had happened. His wife said to him, Swear that thou wilt 
listen to that which I shall say. He replied, Well ? So she 
told him what his son had done; and he mourned, and rent 
his clothes, and slapped his face, and plucked his beard. 
His wife then said to him, Kill not thyself, I will give thee, 
of my own property, ten thousand pieces of gold, her price. — 
But upon this, he raised his head towards her, and said to 
her. Wo to thee ! I want not her price ; but I fear the loss 
of my life and my property. — Wherefore, O my master? 
she asked. — Knowest thou not, said he, that we have this 
enemy El-Mo'in the son of Sawi ? When he heareth of this 
event, he will repair to the Sultan, and say to him, Thy 
Wezir whom thou imaginest to love thee hath received from 
thee ten thousand pieces of gold, and purchased therewith 
a female slave such as no one hath seen equalled, and when 
she pleased him, he said to his son. Take her; for thou art 
more worthy of her than the Sultan : — and he took her ; and 
the damsel is now with him. — Then the King will say. Thou 
liest. And he will say to the King, With thy permission, I 
will break in upon him suddenly, and bring her to thee. 
And he will give him permission to do so: he will therefore 
make a sudden attack upon the house, and take the damsel, 
and conduct hei? into the presence of the Sultan, and he will 
question her, and she will not be able to deny : he will then 
say, O my lord, I give thee good counsel, but I am not in 
favour with thee: — and the Sultan will make an example of 
me, and all the people will make me a gazing-stock, and 
my life will be lost. — His wife, however, replied. Acquaint 
no one; for this thing hath happened privily: commit, 
therefore, thine affair unto God, in this extremity. And 
upon this, the heart of the Wezir was quieted, and his mind 
was relieved. 

Such was the case of the Wezir. — Now as to Nur-ed-Din, 
he feared the result of his conduct, and so passed each day 
in the gardens, not returning to his mother until towards the 
close of tlie night: he then slept in her apartment, and rose 
before morning without being seen by any one else. Thus 
he continued to do for the space of a month, not seeing the 
face of his father; and at length his mother said to his 
father, O my master, wilt thou lose the damsel and lose the 


child? For if it long continue thus with the youth, he will 
flee his country. — And what is to be done? said he. She 
answered, Sit up this night, and when he cometh, lay hold 
upon him, and be reconciled to him, and give him the 
damsel; for she loveth him, and he loveth her; and I will 
give thee her price. So the Wezir sat up the whole night, 
and when his son came, he laid hold upon him, and would 
have cut his throat ; but his mother came to his succour, 
and said to her husband. What dost thou desire to do unto 
him? He answered her, I desire to slay him. The youth 
then said to his father, Am I of so small account in thy 
estimation? And upon this, the eyes of his father filled 
with tears, and he said to him, O my son, is the loss of my 
property and my life of small account with thee? — Listen, 

my father, rejoined the youth : — and he implored his 
forgiveness. So the Wezir rose from the breast of his son, 
and was moved with compassion for him ; and the youth 
rose, and kissed his father's hand; and the Wezir said, O 
my son, if I knew that thou wouldst act equitably to Enis- 
el-Jelis, I would give her to thee. — O my father, replied the 
youth, wherefore should I not act equitably towards her? 
And his father said, I charge thee, O my son, that thou take 
not a wife to share her place, and that thou do her no injury, 
nor sell her. He replied, O my father, I swear to thee that 

1 will neither take a wife to share her place, nor sell her: — 
and he promised him by oaths to act as he had said, and 
took up his abode with the damsel, and remained with her 
a year; and God (whose name be exalted!) caused the 
King to forget the afifair of the female slave ; but the matter 
became known to El-Mo'in the son of Sawi ; yet he could 
not speak of it, on account of the high estimation in which 
the other Wezir was held by the Sultan. 

After this year had expired, the Wezir Fadl-ed-Din the 
son of Khakan entered the bath, and came out in a state of 
excessive perspiration, in consequence of which the external 
air smote him, so that he became confined to his bed, and 
long remained sleepless; and his malady continued unre- 
mittingly ; so he called, thereupon, his son, 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, 
and when he came before him, said to him, O my son, verily 
the means of life are apportioned, and its period is decreed, 


and every soul must drink the cup of death. I have nothing 
with which to charge thee but the fear of God, and fore- 
thought with regard to the results of thine actions, and that 
thou conduct thyself kindly to the damsel Enis-el-Jelis. — O 
my father, said the youth, who is like unto thee? Thou 
hast been celebrated for virtuous actions, and the praying of 
the preachers for thee on the pulpits. — O my son, rejoined 
the Wezir, I hope for the approbation of God, whose name 
be exalted ! And then he pronounced the two professions 
of the faith, and uttered a sigh, and was recorded among 
the company of the blest. And upon this, the palace was 
filled with shrieking, and the news reached the ears of the 
Sultan, and the people of the city heard of the death of El- 
Fadl the son of Khakan, and even the boys in the schools 
wept for him. His son 'Ali Nur-ed-Din arose, and pre- 
pared his funeral, and the Emirs and Wezirs and other 
officers of the state attended it, and among them was the 
Wezir El-Mo'in the son of Sawi; and as the procession 
passed out from the mansion, one of the mourners recited 
these verses : — 

I said to the man who was appointed to wash him, — Would that 

he had yielded obedience to my counsel, — 
Put away from liim the water, and wash him with the tears of 

honour, shed in himentation for him : 
And remove these fragrant substances collected for his corpse, and 

perfume him rather with the odours of his praise : 
And order the noble angels to carry him in honour. Dost thou 

not behold them attending him? 
Cause not men's necks to be strained by bearing him : enough are 

they laden already by his benefits. 

'Ali Nur-ed-Din for a long time remained in a state of 
violent grief for the loss of his father; but as he was sitting 
one day in his father's house, a person knocked at the door, 
and he rose up and opened it, and lo, there was a man who 
was one of his father's intimate companions, and he kissed 
the hand of Nur-ed-Din, and said to him, O my master, he 
who hath left a son like thee hath not died. This is the 
destination of the lord of the first and the last among 
mankind.^ O my master, cheer up thy heart, and give over 

1 The Prophet Mohammad. 


mourning. — And upon this, 'AH Nur-ed-Din arose, and went 
to the guest-chamber, and removed thither all that he 
required, and his companions came together to him, and he 
took again his slave. Ten of the sons of the merchants 
became his associates, and he gave entertainment after 
entertainment, and began to be lavish with presents. His 
steward, therefore, came to him, and said to him, O my 
master Nur-ed-Din, hast thou not heard the saying, He who 
expendeth and doth not calculate is reduced to poverty? 
This profuse expenditure, and these magnificent presents, 
will annihilate the property. — But when 'Ali Nur-ed-Din 
heard these words of his steward, he looked at him, and 
replied. Of all that thou hast said to me, I will not attend 
to one word. How excellent is the saying of the poet: — 

If I be possessed of wealth and be not liberal, may my hand never 

be extended, nor my foot raised ! 
Shew me the avaricious who hath attained glory by his avarice, and 

the munificent who hath died through his munificence. 

Know, O steward, he continued, that if there remain in thy 
hands what will suffice for my dinner, thou shalt not burden 
me with anxiety respecting my supper. — So the steward left 
him, and went his way; and 'Ali Nur-ed-Din resumed his 
habits of extravagant generosity : whenever any one of his 
companions said^ Verily this thing is beautiful ! — he would 
reply. It is a present to thee : — and if any said, O my 
master, verily such a house is delightful ! — he would reply, 
It is a present to thee. 

He ceased not to give entertainments to his companions 
from the commencement of day, one after another, until he 
had passed in this manner a whole year ; after which, as he 
was sitting with them, he heard the slave-girl recite these 
two verses : — 

Thou thoughtest well of the days when they went well with thee, 
and fearedst not the evid that destiny was bringing. 

Thy nights were peaceful, and thou wast deceived by them : in the 
midst of their brightness there cometh gloom. 

And immediately after, a person knocked at the door; so 
Nur-ed-Din rose, and one of his companions followed him 


without his knowledge; and when he opened the door, he 
beheld his steward, and said to him, What is the news? — 
O my master, answered the steward, that which I feared on 
thy account hath happened to thee. — How is that? asked 
Nur-ed-Din. The steward answered, Know that there re- 
maineth not of thy property in my hands, anything equivalent 
to a piece of silver, or less than a piece of silver ; and these 
are the accounts of thy expenses, and of thy original property. 
When 'Ali Nur-ed-Din heard these words, he hung down 
his head towards the ground, and exclaimed, There is no 
strength nor power but in God ! And the man who had 
followed him secretly to pry into his case, as soon as he heard 
what the steward told him, returned to his companions, and 
said to them. See what ye will do ; for 'Ali Nur-ed-Din hath 
become a bankrupt. So when Nur-ed-Din returned to them, 
grief appeared to them in his countenance, and immediately 
one of them rose, and. looking towards him, said to him, O 
my master, I desire that thou wouldst permit me to depart. — 
Why thus depart to-day? said Nur-ed-Din. His guest an- 
swered. My wife is to "give birth to a child this night, and it 
is impossible for me to be absent from her : I desire, therefore, 
to go and see "her. And he gave him leave. Then another 
rose, and said to him, O my master Nur-ed-Din, I desire 
to-day to visit my brother; for he celebrateth the circum- 
cision of his son. Thus each of them asked leave of him 
deceitfully, and went his way, until all had departed. 

So 'Ali Nur-ed-Din remained alone ; and he called his 
slave-girl, and said to her, O Enis-el-Jelis, seest thou not 
what hath befallen me? And he related to her what the 
steward had told him. She replied, O my master, for some 
nights past, I have been anxious to speak to thee of this 
affair; but I heard thee reciting these two verses: — 

When fortune is liberal to thee, be thou liberal to all others before 
she escape from thee : 

For liljerality will not annihilate thy wealth when she is favour- 
able ; nor avarice preserve it when she deserteth thee. 

And when I heard thee repeat these words, I was silent, 
and would not make any remark to thee. — O Enis-el-Jelis, 
he rejoined, thou knowest that I have not expended my 


wealth but on my companions; and I do not think that they 
will abandon me without relief. — By Allah, said she, they 
will be of no use to thee. But he said, I will immediately 
arise and go to them, and knock at their doors; perhaps I 
shall obtain from them something which I will employ as 
a capital wherewith to trade, and I will cease from diversion 
and sport. So he arose instantly, and proceeded without 
stopping until he arrived at the by-street in which his ten 
companions resided; for they all lived in that same street: 
and he advanced to the first door, and knocked; and there 
came forth to him a slave-girl, who said to him. Who art 
thou? He answered, Say to thy master, — 'AH Nur-ed-Din 
is standing at the door, and saith to thee. Thy slave kisseth 
thy hands, looking for a favour from thee. — And the girl 
entered and acquainted her master ; but he called out to her, 
saying, Return, and tell him. He is not here. — The girl, there- 
fore, returned to Nur-ed-Din, and said to him, My master, 
Sir, is not here. And he went on, saying within himself, H 
this is a knave, and hath denied himself, another is not. He 
then advanced to the next door, and said as he had before ; 
and the second also denied himself; and Nur-ed-Din ex- 
claimed, — 

They are gone, who, if thou stoodest at their door, would bestow 
upon thee the bounty thou desirest. 

By Allah, he added, I must try all of them: perchance one 
of them may stand me in the place of all the others. And 
he went round to all the ten ; but found not that one of them 
would open the door, or shew himself, or even order him a 
cake or bread ; and he recited the following verses : — 

A man in prosperity resembleth a tree, around which people flock 

as long as it hath fruit ; 
But as soon as it hath dropped all that it bore, they disperse from 

beneath it, and seek another. 
Perdition to all the people of this age ! for I find not one man of 

integrity among ten. 

He then returned to his slave : his anxiety had increased, 
and. she said to him, ^ my master, said I not unto thee that 
they would not profit thee? — By Allah, he replied, not one 
of them shewed me his face. — O my master, rejoined she, 


sell of the movables of the house a little at a time, and 
expend the produce. And he did so until he had sold all 
that was in the house, and there remained nothing in his 
possession ; and upon this he looked towards Enis-el-Jelis, 
and said to her. What shall we do now? — It is my advice, 
O my master, she answered, that thou arise immediately, 
and take me to the market, and sell me; for thou knowest 
that thy father purchased me for ten thousand pieces of gold, 
and perhaps God may open to thee a way to obtain a part 
of this price; and if God have decreed our reunion, we 
shall meet again. But he replied, O Enis-el-Jelis, it is not 
easy for me to endure thy separation for one hour. — Nor 
is the like easy to me, said she : but necessity is imperious. 
And upon this, he took Enis-el-Jelis, his tears flowing down 
his cheeks, and went and delivered her to the broker, saying 
to him, Know the value of that which thou art to cry for 
sale. — O my master Nur-ed-Din, replied the broker, noble 
qualities are held in remembrance. Is she not Enis-el-Jelis, 
whom thy father purchased of me for ten thousand pieces of 
gold? — He answered. Yes. And the broker thereupon went 
to the merchants; but he found that they had not all yet 
assembled; so he waited until the rest had come; and the 
market was filled with all varieties of female slaves, Turkish 
and Greek and Circassian and Georgian and Abyssinian ; 
and when he beheld its crowded state, he arose and exclaimed, 
O merchants ! O possessors of wealth ! everything that is 
round is not a nut; nor is everything long, a banana; nor 
is everything that is red, meat ; nor is everything white, fat ; 
nor is everything that is ruddy, wine ; nor is everything 
tawny, a date ! O merchants ! this precious pearl, whose 
value no money can equal, with what sum will ye open the 
bidding for her? — And one of the merchants answered, 
With four thousand and five hundred pieces of gold. 

Rut, lo, the Wezir El-Mo'in the son of Sawi was in the 
market, and, seeing 'AH Nur-ed-Din standing there, he said 
within himself. What doth he want here, having nothing left 
wherewith to purchase female slaves? Then casting his 
eyes around, and hearing the broker as he stood crying in 
the market with the merchants around him, he said within 
himself, I do not imagine anything else than that he hath 


become a bankrupt, and come forth with the slave-girl to 
sell her; and if this be the case, how pleasant to my heart! 
He then called the crier, who approached him, and kissed 
the ground before him ; and the Wezir said to him, I desire 
this female slave whom thou art crying for sale. The broker, 
therefore, being unable to oppose his wish, brought the slave 
and placed her before him ; and when he beheld her, and con- 
sidered her charms, her elegant figure and her soft speech, he 
was delighted with her, and said to the broker. To what has 
the bidding for her amounted ? The broker answered. Four 
thousand and five hundred pieces of gold. And as soon as 
the merchants heard this, not one of them could bid another 
piece of silver or of gold ; but all of them drew back, knowing 
the tyrannical conduct of that Wezir. El-Mo'in the son of 
Sawi then looked towards the broker, and said to him. Why 
standest thou still ? Take away the slave-girl for me at the 
price of four thousand and five hundred pieces of gold, and 
thou wilt have five hundred for thyself. — So the broker went 
to 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, and said to him, O my master, the slave- 
girl is lost to thee without price. — How so? said Nur-ed-Din. 
The broker answered, We opened the bidding for her at four 
thousand and five hundred pieces of gold; but this tyrant 
El-]\Io'in the son of Sawi came into the market, and when he 
beheld the damsel she pleased him, and he said to me, Ask 
her owner if he will agree for four thousand pieces of gold, 
and five hundred for thee : — and I doubt not but he knoweth 
that the slave belongeth to thee ; and if he give thee her 
price immediately, it will be through the goodness of God; 
but I know, from his injustice, that he will write thee an 
order upon some of his agents for the money, and then send 
to them and desire them to give thee nothing; and every 
time that thou shalt go to demand it of them, they will say to 
thee, To-morrow we will pay thee : — and they will not cease 
to promise thee, and to defer from day to day, notwith- 
standing thy pride ; and when they are overcome by thy 
importunity they will say. Give us the written order: — and 
as soon as they have received the paper from thee they will 
tear it in pieces : so thou wilt lose the price of the slave. 

When Nur-ed-Din, therefore, heard these words of the 
broker, he said to him. What is to be done? The broker 


answered, I will give thee a piece of advice, and if thou 
receive it from me, thou will have better fortune. — \\'hat is 
it? Asked Nur-ed-Din. — That thou come to me immediately, 
answered the broker, while I am standing in the midst of the 
market, and take the slave-girl from me, and give her a blow 
with thy hand, and say to her, Wo to thee ! I have expiated 
my oath that I swore, and brought thee to the market, be- 
cause I swore to thee that thou shouldst be exposed in the 
market, and that the broker should cry thee for sale. — If 
thou do this, perhaps the trick will deceive him and the 
people, and they will believe that thou tookest her not to the 
market but to expiate the oath. — This, replied Nur-ed-Din, 
is the right counsel. So the broker returned into the midst 
of the market, and, taking hold of the hand of the slave-girl, 
made a sign to the Wezir El-Mo'in the son of Sawi, saying, O 
my lord, this is her owner who hath just come. Then 'Ali 
Nur-ed-Din advanced to the broker, and tore the damsel from 
him, and struck her with his hand, saying to her. Wo to thee ! 
I have brought thee to the market for the sake of expiating 
my oath. Go home, and disobey me not again. I want not 
thy price, that I should sell thee; and if I sold the furniture 
of the house '^nd everything else of the kind over and over 
again, their produce would not amount to thy price. — But 
when El-Mo'in the son of Sawi, beheld Nur-ed-Din, he said to 
him, Wo to thee ! Hast thou anything left to be sold or 
bought ? — And he would have laid violent hands upon him. 
The merchants then looked towards Nur-ed-Din (and they 
all loved him), and he said to them. Here am I before you, 
and ye have all known his tyranny. — By Allah, exclaimed 
the Wezir, were it not for you, I had killed him ! Then all of 
them made signs, one to another, with the eye, and said, Not 
one of us will interfere between thee and him. And upon 
this, 'Ali Nur-ed-Din went up to the Wezir, the son of 
Sawi (and Nur-ed-Din was a man of courage), and he 
dragged the Wezir from his saddle, and threw him upon 
the ground. There was at that spot a kneading-place for 
mud,' and the Wezir fell into the midst of it, and Nur-ed- 

• By this is meant, a place where mud was kneaded to be employed in 
building. The mortar generally used in the construction of Arab houses 
is composed of mud in the proportion of one-half, with a fourth part of 
lime, and the remaining part of the ashes of straw and rubbish. 


Dm beat him with his fist, and a blow fell upon his teeth, 
by which his beard became dyed with his blood. Now there 
were with the Wezir ten memluks, and when they saw Nur- 
ed-Din treat their master in this manner, they put their hands 
upon the hilts of their swords, and would have fallen upon 
him and cut him in pieces; but the people said to them, This 
is a Wezir, and this is the son of a Wezir, and perhaps they 
may make peace with each other, and ye will incur the anger 
of both of them; or perhaps a blow may fall upon your 
master, and ye will all of you die the most ignominious of 
deaths: it is advisable, therefore, that 3^e interfere not be- 
tween them. — And when 'Ali Nur-ed-Din had ceased from 
beating the Wezir, he took his slave-girl and returned to his 

The Wezir, the son of Sawi, then immediately arose, and 
his dress, which before was white, was now dyed with three 
colours, the colour of mud, and the colour of blood, and the 
colour of ashes; and when he beheld himself in this con- 
dition, he took a round mat, and hung it to his neck, and 
took in his hand two bundles of coarse grass, and went and 
stood beneath the palace of the Sultan, and cried out, O 
King of the age ! I am oppressed ! — So they brought him 
before the King, who looked at him attentively, and saw 
that he was his Wezir, El-Mo'in the son of Sawi. He said, 
therefore. Who hath done thus unto thee? — and the Wezir 
cried and moaned, and repeated these two verses : — 

Shall fortune oppress me while thou existest ; and the dogs devour 

me when thou art a lion ? 
Shall all else who are dry drink freely from thy tanks, and I thirst 

in thine asylum when thou art as rain ? 

— O my lord, he continued, thus is every one who loveth 
thee and serveth thee: these afflictions always befall him. — 
And who, said the King again, hath done thus unto thee? 
— Know, answered the Wezir, that I went forth to-day to 
the market of the female slaves with the idea of buying a 
cook-maid, and saw in the market a slave-girl the like of 
whom I had never in my life beheld, and the broker said that 
she belonged to *Ali Nur-ed-Din. Now our lord the Sultan 
had given his father ten thousand pieces of gold to buy for 
him with it a beautiful female slave, and he bought that 


girl, and she pleased him ; so he gave her to his son ; and 
when his father died, the son pursued the path of prodigality, 
until he sold all his houses and gardens and utensils; and 
when he had become a bankrupt, nothing else remaining in 
his possession, he took the slave-girl to the market to sell her, 
and delivered her to the broker: so he cried her for sale, and 
the merchants continued bidding for her until her price 
amounted to four thousand pieces of gold; whereupon I 
said to myself, I will buy this for our lord the Sultan; for 
her original price was from him. I therefore said, O my 
son, receive her price, four thousand pieces of gold. But 
when he heard my words, he looked at me and replied. O 
ill-omened old man ! I will sell her to the Jews and the 
Christians rather than to thee. — I then said to him, I would 
not buy her for myself, but for our lord the Sultan, who is 
our benefactor. As soon, however, as he had heard these 
words from me, he was filled with rage, and dragged me 
and threw me down from the horse, notwithstanding my 
advanced age, and beat me, and ceased not to do so until 
he left me in the state in which thou seest me. Nothing 
exposed me to all this ill treatment but my coming to pur- 
chase this slave-girl for your majesty. — The Wezir then 
threw himself upon the ground, and lay weeping and 

Now when the Sultan beheld his condition, and had heard 
his speech, the vein of anger swelled between his eyes, and 
he looked towards the members of his court who were attend- 
ing him; whereupon forty swordsmen stood before him. 
and he said to them, Descend immediately to the house 
of 'AH the son of El-Fadl the son of Khakan, and plunder 
it and demolish it, and bring hither him and the slave-girl 
with their hands bound behind them : drag them along upon 
their faces, and so bring them before me. They replied, 
we hear and obey: — and went forth to repair to the house 
of 'Ali Nur-ed-Din. But there was in the court of the Sultan 
a chamberlain named 'Alam-ed-in Senior, who had been 
one of the memluks of El-Fadl the son of Khakan. the father 
of 'Ali Nur-ed-Din; and when he heard the order of the 
Sultan, and saw the enemies prepared to slav his master's 
son, it was insupportable to him; so he mounted his horse, 


and proceeded to the house of 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, and knocked 
at the door. Nur-ed-Din came forth to him, and, when he 
saw him, knew him. and would have sahited him ; but he 
said, O my master, this is not a time for sahitation, nor for 
talking. Nur-ed-Din said, O 'Alam-ed-Din, what is the 
news? He replied, Save thyself by flight, thou and the slave- 
girl ; for El-Mo'in the son of Sawi hath set up a snare for 
you, and if ye fall into his hands he will slay you : the Sultan 
hath sent to you forty swordsmen, and it is my advice that 
ye fly before the evil fall upon you. Then Senjer stretched 
forth his hand to Nur-ed-Din with some pieces of gold, and 
he counted them, and found them to be forty pieces; and 
he said, O my master, receive these, and if I had with me 
more, I would give it thee; but this is not a time for ex- 
postulating. And upon this, Nur-ed-Din went in to the 
damsel, and acquainted her with the occurrence, and she 
was confounded. 

The two then went forth immediately from the city, and 
God let down the veil of his protection upon them, and they 
proceeded to the bank of the river, where they found a 
vessel ready to sail : the master was standing in the midst 
of it, and saying. He who hath anything to do, whether 
leave-taking or procuring provisions, or who hath forgotten 
aught, let him do what he desireth and return; for we are 
going. And they all replied, We have nothing remaining 
to do, O master. So, upon this, the master said to his crew, 
Quick! Loose the rope's end, and pull up the stake. — And 
*Ali Nur-ed-Din exclaimed, Whither, O master? He an- 
swered. To the abode of Peace, Baghdad. And Nur-ed-Din 
embarked, and the damsel with him, and they set the vessel 
afloat, and spread the sails and it shot along like a bird 
with its pair of wings, carrying them forward with a favour- 
able wind. 

Meanwhile, the forty men whom the Sultan had sent 
came to the house of 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, and broke open the 
doors and entered, and searched all the chambers, but with- 
out success; so they demolished the house, and returned, 
and acquainted the Sultan, who said. Search for them in 
every place where they may be: — and they replied, We 
hear and obey. The Wezir El-Mo'in the son of Sawi then 


descended to his house, after the Sultan had invested him 
with a robe of honour, and had said to him, None shall take 
vengeance for thee but myself. And he greeted the King 
with a prayer for long life, and his heart was set at ease: 
and the Sultan gave orders to proclaim throughout the city, 
O all ye people ! our lord the Sultan hath commanded that 
whoever shall meet with 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, and bring him to 
the Sultan, shall be invested with a robe of honour, and he 
will give him a thousand pieces of gold; and he who shall 
conceal him, or know where he is, and not give information 
thereof, will merit the exemplary punishment that shall befall 
him ! So all the people began to search for him ; but could 
not trace him. — Such was the case with these people. 

Now as to 'Ali Nur-ed-Din and his slave, they arrived 
in safety at Baghdad, and the master of the vessel said to 
them, This is Baghdad, and it is a city of security: winter 
with its cold hath departed from it, and the spring-quarter 
hath come with its roses, and its trees are in blossom, and 
its waters are flowing. And upon this, 'Ali Nur-ed-Din 
landed with his slave-girl, and gave the master five pieces 
of gold. They then walked a little way, and destiny cast 
them among the gardens, and they came to a place which 
they found swept and sprinkled, with long mastabahs, and 
pots suspended filled with water, and over it was a covering 
of trellis-work of canes extending along the whole length of 
a lane, at the upper end of which was the gate of a garden ; 
but this was shut. And Nur-ed-Din said to the damsel. By 
Allah, this is a pleasant place ! — and she replied, O my mas- 
ter, let us sit down a while upon one of these mastabahs. 
So they mounted and seated themselves there, and they 
washed their faces and hands, and enjoyed the current of 
the zephyr, and slept. — Glory be to Him who sleepeth not ! 

This garden was called the Garden of Delight, and in it 
was a palace called the Palace of Diversion, and it belonged 
to the Khalifeh Harun Er-Rashid, who, when his heart was 
contracted, used to come to this garden, and enter the palace 
above mentioned, and there sit. The palace had eighty lat- 
ticed windows, and eighty lamps were suspended in it. and 
in the midst of it was a great candlestick of gold : and when 
the Khalifeh entered it, he commanded the female slaves to 


open the windows, and ordered Ishak, the cup-companion, to 
sing with them : so his heart became dilated, and his anxiety 
ceased. There was a superintendent to the garden, an old 
man. named the sheykh Ibrahim ; and it happened that he 
went forth once to transact some business, and found there 
persons diverting themselves with women of suspicious 
character, whereupon he was violently enraged, and having 
waited until the Khalifeh came thither some days after, he 
acquainted him with this occurrence, and the Khalifeh said, 
Whomsoever thou shalt find at the gate of the garden, do 
with him what thou wilt. Now on this day the sheykh 
Ibrahim went out to transact an affair of business, and found 
the two sleeping at the garden-gate, covered with a single 
izar; and he said. Do not these two persons know that the 
Khalifeh hath given me permission to kill every one whom 
I find here? But I will only give these two a slight beat- 
ing, that no one may again approach the gate of the garden. 
He then cut a green palm-stick, and went forth to them, 
and raised his hand until the whiteness of his arm-pit ap- 
peared, and was about to beat them; but he reflected in 
his mind, and said, O Ibrahim, how shouldst thou beat 
them when thou knowest not their case? They may be two 
strangers, or of the children of the road,* whom destiny 
hath cast here. I will therefore uncover their faces, and 
look at them. — So he lifted up the izar from their faces and 
said. These are two handsome persons, and it is not proper 
that I should beat them. And he covered their faces again, 
and, approaching the foot of 'AH Xur-ed-Din, began to rub 
it gently ; whereupon Nur-ed-Din opened his eyes, and saw 
that he was an old man; and he blushed, and drew in his 
feet, and, sitting up, took the hand of the sheykh Ibrahim 
and kissed it ; and the sheykh said to him, O my son, whence 
are ye? — O my master, he answered, we are strangers. — 
And a tear gushed from his eye. The sheykh Ibrahim then said 
to him, O my son, know that the Prophet (God bless and 
save him!) hath enjoined generosity to the stranger. Wilt 
thou not arise, O my son, and enter the garden, and divert 
thyself in it, that thy heart may be dilated? — O my master, 
said Nur-ed-Din, to whom doth this garden belong? The 

* Wayfarers. 


sheykh answered, O my son, this garden I inherited from 
my family. And his design in saying this was only that 
they might feel themselves at ease, and enter the garden. 
And when Nur-ed-Din heard his words, he thanked him, 
and arose, together with his slave, and, the sheykh Ibrahim 
preceding them, they entered the garden. 

The gate was arched, and over it were vines with grapes 
of different colours; the red, like rubies; and the black, 
like ebony. They entered a bower, and found within it 
fruits growing in clusters and singly, and the birds were 
warbling their various notes upon the branches: the night- 
ingale was pouring forth its melodious sounds; and the 
turtle-dove filled the place with its cooing; and the black- 
bird, in its singing, resembled a human being; and the 
ring-dove, a person exhilarated by wine. The fruits upon 
the trees, comprising every description that was good to eat, 
had ripened; and there were two of each kind: there were 
the camphor-apricot, and the almond-apricot, and the apricot 
of Khurasan ; the plum of a colour like the complexion of 
beauties ; the cherry delighting the sense of every man ; the 
red, the white, and the green fig, of the most beautiful 
colours ; and flowers like pearls and coral ; the rose, whose 
redness put to shame the cheeks of the lovely ; the violet, 
like sulphur in contact with fire ; the myrtle, the gilliflower, 
the lavender, and the anemone; and their leaves were be- 
spangled with the tears of the clouds ; the chamomile smiled, 
displaying its teeth, and the narcissus looked at the rose 
with its negroes' eyes; the citrons resembled round cups; 
the limes were like bullets of gold; the ground was carpeted 
with flowers of every colour, and the place beamed witli the 
charms of spring; the river murmured by while the birds 
sang, and the wind whistled among the trees ; the season 
was temperate, and the zephyr was languishing. 

The sheykh Ibrahim conducted them into the elevated 
saloon, and they were charmed with its beauty and the 
extraordinary elegances which it displayed, and seated 
themselves in one of the windows ; and Nur-ed-Din, reflect- 
ing upon his past entertainments, exclaimed. By Allah, this 
place is most delightful ! It hath reminded me of past 
events, and quenched in me an anguish like the fire of the 


ghada. — The sheykh Ibrahim then brought to them some 
food, and they ate to satisfaction, and washed their hands, 
and Nur-ed-Din, seating himself again in one of the windows, 
called to his slave, and she came to him; and they sat 
gazing at the trees laden with all kinds of fruits ; after which, 
Nur-ed-Din looked towards the sheykh, and said to him, O 
sheykh Ibrahim, hast thou not any beverage? For people 
drink after eating. — So the sheykh brought him some sweet 
and cold water : but Nur-ed-Din said. This is not the beverage 
I desire. — Dost thou want wine? asked the sheykh. — Yes, 
answered Nur-ed-Din. The sheykh exclaimed, I seek refuge 
with Allah from it ! Verily, for thirteen years I have done 
nothing of that kind; for the Prophet (God bless and save 
him!) cursed its drinker and its presser and its carrier. — 
Hear from me two words, said Nur-ed-Din. The sheykh 
replied. Say what thou wilt. So he said. If thou be neither 
the presser of the wine, nor its drinker, nor its carrier, will 
aught of the curse fall upon thee? The sheykh answered. 
No. — Then take this piece of gold, rejoined Nur-ed-Din, 
and these two pieces of silver, and mount the ass, and halt 
at a distance from the place, and whatsoever man thou 
findest to buy it, call to him, and say to him, take these two 
pieces of silver, and with this piece of gold buy some wine, 
and place it upon the ass : — so, in this case, thou wilt be 
neither the carrier nor the presser, nor the buyer; and 
nothing will befall thee of that which befalleth the rest. 

The sheykh Ibrahim, after laughing at his words, replied. 
By Allah, I have never seen one more witty than thou, nor 
heard speech more sweet. And Nur-ed-Din said to him, 
We have become dependent upon thee, and thou hast 
nothing to do but to comply with our wishes : bring us, 
therefore, all that we require. — O my son, said the sheykh, 
my buttery here is before thee (and it was the store-room 
furnished for the Prince of the Faithful) : enter it then, and 
take from it what thou wilt; for it containeth more than 
thou desirest. So Nur-ed-Din entered the store-room, and 
beheld in it vessels of gold and silver and crystal, adorned 
with a variety of jewels; and he took out such of them as 
he desired, and poured the wine into the vessels of earthen- 
ware and bottles of glass ; and he and the damsel began 


to drink, astonished at the beauty of the things which they 
beheld. The sheykh Ibrahim then brought to them sweet- 
scented flowers, and seated himself at a distance from them; 
and they continued drinking, in a state of the utmost de- 
light, until the wine took effect upon them, and their cheeks 
reddened, and their eyes wantoned like those of the gazelle, 
and their hair hung down : whereupon the sheykh Ibrahim 
said, What ailcth me that I am sitting at a distance from 
them? Why should I not sit by them? And when shall I 
be in the company of such as these two, who are like two 
moons? — He then advanced, and seated hmself at the edge 
of the raised portion of the floor; and Nur-ed-Din said to 
him, O my master, by my life I conjure thee to approach 
and join us. So he went to them; and Nur-ed-Din filled 
a cup, and, looking at the sheykh, said to him. Drink, that 
thou mayest know how delicious is its flavour. But the 
sheykh Ibrahim exclaimed, I seek refuge with Allah ! 
Verily, for thirteen years I have done nothing of that kind. 
— And Nur-ed-Din, feigning to pay no attention to him, 
drank the cup, and threw himself upon the ground, pretend- 
ing that intoxication had overcome him. 

Upon this, Enis-el-Jelis looked towards the sheykh, and 
said to him, O sheykh Ibrahim, see how this man hath 
treated me. — O my mistress, said he, what aileth him? She 
rejoined. Always doth he treat me thus : he drinketh a 
while, and then sleepeth, and I remain alone, and find no 
one to keep me company over my cup. If I drink, who 
will serve me? And if I sing, who will hear me? — The 
sheykh, moved with tenderness and affection for her by her 
words, replied. It is not proper that a cup-companion be 
thus. The damsel then filled a cup, and. looking at the 
sheykh Ibrahim, said to him, I conjure thee by my life 
that thou take it and, drink it; reject it not. but accept it, 
and refresh my heart. So he stretched forth his hand, and 
took the cup, and drank it ; and she filled for him a second 
time, and handed it to him, saying, O my master, this 
remaineth for thee. He replied. By Allah, I cannot drink 
it : that which I have drunk is enough for me. But she 
said. By Allah, it is indispensable: — and he took the cup, 
and drank it. She then gave him the third ; and he took 


it. and was about to drink it. when lo, Nur-ed-Din. raised 
himself, and said to him, O sheykh Ibrahim, what is this? 
Did I not conjure thee a while ago, and thou refusedst, and 
saidst. Verily, for thirteen years I have not done it? — The 
sheykh Ibrahim, touched with shame, replied, By Allah, I am 
not in fault; for she pressed me. And Nur-ed-Din laughed, 
and they resumed their carousal, and the damsel, turning 
her eyes towards her master, said to him, O my master, 
drink thou, and do not urge the sheykh Ibrahim; that I 
may divert thee with the sight of him. So she began to fill 
and to hand to her master, and her master filled and gave 
to her, and thus they continued to do, time after time; till 
at length the sheykh Ibrahim looked towards them and 
said. What meaneth this? And what sort of carousal is 
this? Wherefore do ye not give me to drink, since I have 
become your cup-companion? — At this they both laughed 
until they became almost senseless ; and then drank, and 
gave him to drink; and they continued thus until the ex- 
piration of a third of the night, when the damsel said, O 
sheykh Ibrahim, with thy permission shall I rise and light 
one of the candles which are arranged here? — Rise, he 
answered; but light not more than one candle. But she 
sprang upon her feet, and, beginning with the first candle, 
proceeded until she had lighted eighty. She then sat down 
again; and presently Nur-ed-Din said, O sheykh Ibrahim, 
in what favour am I held with thee? Wilt thou not allow 
me to light one of these lamps? — The sheykh answered, 
Arise, and light one lamp, and be not thou also trouble- 
some. So he arose, and, beginning with the first lamp, 
lighted all the eighty; and the saloon seemed to dance. 
And after this, the sheykh Ibrahim, overcome by intoxica- 
tion, said to them. Ye are more frolicsome than I : — and 
he sprang upon his feet, and opened all the windows, and 
sat down again with them, and they continued carousing 
and reciting verses; and the place rang with their 

Now God, the All-seeing and All-knowing, who hath ap- 
pointed a cause to every event, had decreed that the Khalifeh 
should be sitting that night at one of the windows looking 
towards the Tigris, by moonlight ; and he looked in that 



direction, and saw the light of lamps and candles reflected in 
the river, and, turning his eyes up towards the palace in the 
garden, he beheld it beaming with those candles and lamps, 
and exclaimed, Bring hither to me Ja'far El-Barmeki ! In 
the twinkling of an eye, Ja'far stood before the Prince of 
the Faithful ; and the Khalifeh said to him, O dog of Wezirs, 
dost thou serve me and not acquaint me with what hap- 
peneth in the city of Baghdad? — What, asked Ja'far, is the 
occasion of these words? The Khalifeh answered, If the 
city of Baghdad were not taken from me, the Palace of 
Diversion were not enlivened with the light of the lamps 
and candles, and its windows were not opened. Wo to thee ! 
Who could do these things unless the office of Khalifeh were 
taken from me? — Who, said Ja'far (the muscles of his side 
quivering from fear), informed thee that the lamps and 
candles were lighted in the Palace of Diversion, and that 
its windows were opened? The Khalifeh replied, Advance 
hither to me, and look. So Ja'far approached the Khalifeh, 
and, looking towards the garden, beheld the palace as it were 
a flame of fire, its light surpassing that of the moon. He de- 
sired, therefore, to make an excuse for the sheykh Ibrahim, 
the superintendent, thinking, from what he beheld, that the 
event might have occurred through his permission: and ac- 
cordingly he said, O Prince of the Faithful, the sheykh 
Ibrahim last week said to me, O my master Ja'far, I am de- 
sirous of entertaining my children during my life and the 
life of the Prince of the Faithful. — And what, said I, is thy 
design in saying this? He answered, It is my wish that thou 
wouldst obtain for me permission from the Khalifeh that I 
may celebrate the circumcision of my sons in the palace. So 
I said. Do what thou wilt with respect to the entertainment 
of thy sons, and, if God will, I shall have an interview with 
the Khalifeh, and will acquaint him with it. And he left me 
thus; and I forgot to acquaint thee. — O Ja'far, said the 
Khalifeh, thou wast guilty of one oflfence against me, and 
then thine offence became two: for thou hast erred in two 
points: the first, thy not acquainting me with this affair; 
and the second, thy not accomplishing the desire of the 
sheykli Ibrahim; for he did not come to thee and address 
thee with these words but to hint a request for some money 


by the aid of which to effect his design, and thou neither 
gavest him anything nor acquaintedst me that I might give 
him. — O Prince of the Faithful, repHed Ja'far, I forgot. 

The Khali f eh then said, By my forefathers, I will not 
pass the remainder of my night but with him, for he is a 
just man, who frequenteth the sheykhs, and attendeth to the 
poor, and favoureth the indigent; and I imagine all his ac- 
quaintances are with him this night: so I must repair to 
him: perhaps one of them may offer up for us a prayer 
productive of good to us in this world and the next; and 
probably some advantage may accrue to him from my 
presence, and he will receive pleasure from this, together 
with his friends. — O Prince of the Faithful, replied Ja'far, 
the greater part of the night hath passed, and they are now 
about to disperse. But the Khalifeh said, We must go to 
them. And Ja'far was silent, and was perplexed in his mind, 
not knowing what to do. So the Khalifeh rose upon his 
feet, and Ja'far rose and preceded him, and Mesrur the 
eunuch went with them. The three walked on reflecting, 
and, departing from the palace, proceeded through the 
streets, in the attire of merchants, until they arrived at the 
gate of the garden above mentioned ; and the Khalifeh, ap- 
proaching it, found it open ; and he was surprised, and said. 
See, O Ja'far, how the sheykh Ibrahim hath left the gate 
open until this hour, which is not his usual custom. They 
then entered, and came to the end of the garden, where they 
stopped beneath the palace; and the Khalifeh said, O Ja'far, 
I desire to take a view of them secretly before I go up to 
them, that I may see how the sheykhs are occupied in the 
dispensing of their blessings and the employment of their 
miraculous powers; for they have qualities which distinguish 
them both in their private retirements and in their public 
exercises ; and now we hear not their voices, nor discover 
any indication of their presence. Having thus said, he 
looked around, and, seeing a tall walnut-tree, he said, O 
Ja'far, I would climb this tree (for its branches are near 
to the windows) and look at them. And accordingly he 
ascended the tree, and climbed from branch to branch until 
he came to that which was opposite to one of the windows, 
and there he sat, and, looking in through this window of 


the palace, beheld a damsel and a young man, like two moons 
(extolled be the perfection of Him who created them !) ; and 
he saw the sheykh Ibrahim sitting with a cup in his hand, 
and saying, O mistress of beauties, drinking unaccompanied 
by merry sounds is not pleasant. Hast thou not heard the 
saying of the poet? — 

Circulate it in the large cup, and in the small ; and receive it from 

the hand of the shining moon ;* 
And drink not without merry sounds ; for I have observed that 

horses drink to the sound of whistling. 

When the Khalifeh witnessed this conduct of the sheykh 
Ibrahim, the vein of anger swelled between his eyes, and he 
descended, and said, O Ja'far, I have never seen anything of 
the miraculous performances of the just such as I have be- 
held this night: ascend, therefore, thyself also, into this tree, 
and look, lest the blessings of the just escape thee. — On 
hearing the words of the Prince of the Faithful, Ja'far was 
perplexed at his situation ; and he climbed up into the tree, 
and looked, and saw Nur-ed-Din and the sheykh Ibrahim and 
the damsel, and the sheykh Ibrahim had the cup in his hand. 
As soon as He beheld this, he made sure of destruction ; and 
he descended, and stood before the Prince of the Faithful, 
and the Khalifeh said, O Ja'far, praise be to God who hath 
made us to be of the number of those who follow the ex- 
ternal ordinances of the holy law, and averted from us the 
sin of disguising ourselves by the practice of hypocrisy ! 
But Ja'far was unable to reply, from his excessive confusion. 
The Khalifeh then looked towards him, and said, \\'ho can 
have brought these persons hither, and admitted them into 
my palace? But the like of this young man and this damsel, 
in beauty and loveliness and symmetry of form, mine eye 
hath never beheld. — Ja'far, now conceiving a hope that the 
Khalifeh might be propitiated, replied. Thou hast spoken 
truly, O Prince of the Faithful. And the Khalifeh said, O 
Ja'far, climb up with us upon this branch which is opposite 
them, that we may amuse ourselves by observing them. So 
they both climbed up into the tree, and. looking at them, 
heard the sheykh Ibrahim say, O my mistress, I have re- 

* The cupbearer. 


linquished decorum by the drinking of wine ; but the pleasure 
of this is not complete without the melodious sounds of 
stringed instruments. — O sheykh Ibrahim, replied Enis-el- 
Jelis, by Allah, if we had any musical instrument, our happi- 
ness were perfect. And when the sheykh Ibrahim heard her 
words, he rose upon his feet. — The Khali f eh said to Ja'far, 
What may he be going to do? Ja'far replied, I know not. — 
And the sheykh Ibrahim went away, and returned with a lute ; 
and the Khali f eh, looking attentively at it, saw that it was 
the lute of Ishak the cup-companion ; and said, By Allah, if 
this damsel sing not well, I will crucify you all ; but if she 
sing well, I will pardon them, and crucify thee. So Ja'far 
said, O Allah, let her not sing well! — Why? asked the Kha- 
lifeh. — That thou mayest crucify all of us, answered Ja'far; 
and then we shall cheer one another by conversation. And 
the Khalifeh laughed: and the damsel took the lute, and tuned 
its strings, and played upon it in a manner that would melt 
iron, and inspire an idiot with intellect ; after which she sang 
with such sweetness that the Khalifeh exclaimed, O Ja'far, 
never in my life have I heard so enchanting a voice as this ! 
— Perhaps, said Ja'far, the anger of the Khalifeh hath de- 
parted from him? — Yea, he answered; it hath departed. He 
then descended with Ja'far from the tree, and, looking 
towards him, said, I am desirous of going up to them, to 
sit with them, and to hear the damsel sing before me. — O 
Prince of the Faithful, replied Ja'far, if thou go up to them, 
probably they will be troubled by thy presence ; and as to the 
sheykh Ibrahim, he will assuredly die of fear. The Khalifeh 
therefore said, O Ja'far, thou must acquaint me with some 
stratagem by means of which I may learn the truth of the 
affair without their knowing that I have discovered them. 
And he and Ja'far walked towards the Tigris, reflecting upon 
this matter; and lo, a fisherman stood beneath the windows of 
the palace, and he threw his net, hoping to catch something 
by means of which to obtain his subsistence. — Nov the Kha- 
lifeh had, on a former occasion, called to the sheykh Ibra- 
him, and said to him, What was that noise that I heard 
beneath the windows of the palace? — and he answered, The 
voices of the fishermen, who are fishing: — so he said. Go 
down and forbid them from coming to this place. They were 


therefore forbidden to come thither; but this night there 
came a fisherman named Kerim, and, seeing the garden-gate 
open, he said within himself, This is a time of inadvertence, 
and perhaps I may catch some fish on this occasion: — so he 
took his net, and threw it into the river, and then recited 
some verses, contrasting the condition of the poor fisherman, 
toiling throughout the night, with that of the lord of the 
palace, who, awaking from a pleasant slumber, findeth the 
fawn in his possession ; and as soon as he had finished his 
recitation, lo, the Khalifeh, unattended, stood at his head. 
The Khalifeh knew him, and exclaimed, O Kerim! — and the 
fisherman, hearing him call him by his name, turned towards 
him; and Avhen he beheld the Khalifeh, the muscles of his 
side quivered, and he said. By Allah, O Prince of the Faith- 
ful, I did not this in mockery of the mandate ; but poverty 
and the wants of my family impelled me to the act of which 
thou art witness. The Khalifeh replied, Throw thy net for 
my luck. And the fisherman advanced, rejoicing exceedingly, 
and cast the net, and, having waited until it had attained its 
limit and become steady at the bottom, drew it in again, and 
there came up in it a variety of fish that could not be 

The Khalifeh was delighted at this, and said, O Kerim, 
strip off thy clothes: — and he did so. He was clad in a 
jubbeh^ in which were a hundred patches of coarse woollen 
stuff, containing vermin of the most abominable kind, and 
among them fleas in such numbers that he might almost have 
been transported by their means over the face of the earth ; 
and he took from his head a turban which for three years 
he had never unwound; but when he happened to find a 
piece of rag he twisted it around it : and when he had taken 
off the jubbeh and the turban, the Khalifeh pulled off from his 
own person two vests of silk of Alexandria and Baibekk, and 
a melwatah" and a farajiyeh, and said to the fisherman, Take 
these, and put them on. The Khalifeh then put on himself 
the fisherman's jubbeh and turban, and, having drawn a 
litham^ over his face, said to the fisherman. Go about thy 

• A long outer coat with sleeves nearly reaching to the wrist 

"A jubbeh ordrcss of costly material. 

' £The Bedawi muffler, made by the end of the hcad-kerchlef.] 


business; — and he kissed the feet of the Khalifeh, and 
thanked him, reciting these two verses: — 

Thou hast granted me favours beyond my power to acknowledge, 

and completely satisfied all my wants. 
I will thank thee, therefore, as long as I live, and when I die my 

bones will thank thee in their grave. 

But scarcely had he finished his verses, when the vermin over- 
ran the person of the KhaHfeh, and he began to seize them 
with his right hand and his left from his neck, and to throw 
them down ; and he exclaimed, O fisherman, wo to thee ! 
What are these abundant vermin in this jubbeh? — O my lord, 
he answered, at present they torment thee ; but when a week 
shall have passed over thee, thou wilt not feel them, nor think 
of them. The Khalifeh laughed, and said to him, How can 
I suffer this jubbeh to remain upon me? The fisherman re- 
plied, I wish to tell thee something; but I am ashamed, 
through my awe of the Khalifeh. — Impart, said the Khalifeh, 
what thou hast to tell me. So he said to him. It hath oc- 
curred to my mind, O Prince of the Faithful, that thou de- 
sirest to learn the art of fishing, in order that thou mayest 
be master of a trade that may profit thee; and if such be 
thy desire, this jubbeh is suitable to thee. And the Khalifeh 
laughed at his words. 

The fisherman then went his way, and the Khalifeh took 
the basket of fish, and, having put upon it a little grass, went 
with it to Ja'far, and stood before him; and Ja'far, thinking 
that he was Kerim the fisherman, feared for him, and said, 
O Kerim, what brought thee hither? Save thyself by flight; 
for the Khalifeh is here this night. — And when the Khalifeh 
heard the words of Ja'far, he laughed until he fell down 
upon his back. So Ja'far said. Perhaps thou art our lord the 
Prince of the Faithful? — Yes, O Ja'far, answered the Kha- 
lifeh, and thou art my Wezir, and I came with thee hither, 
and thou knowest me not. How then should the sheykh 
Ibrahim know me when he is drunk? Remain where thou art 
until I return to thee. — Ja'far replied, I hear and obey: — and 
the Khalifeh advanced to the door of the palace, and knocked. 
The sheykh Ibrahim arose, therefore, and said, Who is at the 
door? He answered, I, O sheykh Ibrahim. The sheykh said. 
Who art thou? — and the Khalifeh answered, I am Kerim the- 


fisherman : I heard that there were guests with thee, and have 
therefore hrought thee some fish ; for it is excellent. — Xow 
Nur-ed-Din and the damsel were both fond of fish, and when 
they heard the mention of it they rejoiced exceedingly, and 
said, O my master, open to him, and let him come in to us 
with the fish which he hath brought. So the sheykh Ibrahim 
opened the door, and the Khalifeh, in his fisherman's disguise, 
entered, and began by salutation ; and the sheykh Ibrahim 
said to him. Welcome to the robber, the thief, the gambler ! 
Come hither, and shew us the fish which thou hast brought. 
— He therefore shewed it to them ; and lo, it was alive, and 
moving; and the damsel exclaimed, By Allah, O my master, 
this fish is excellent ! I wish it were fried ! — By Allah, said 
the sheykh Ibrahim, thou hast spoken truth. Then, address- 
ing the Khalifeh, he said, O fisherman, I wish thou hadst 
brought this fish fried. Arise, and fry it for us, and bring 
it, — On the head be thy commands, replied the Khalifeh : I 
will fry it, and bring it. — Be quick, said they, in doing it. 

The Khalifeh therefore arose and ran back to Ja'far, and 
said, O Ja'far, they want the fish fried. — O Prince of the 
Faithful, replied he, give it me, and I will fry it. But the 
Khalifeh said, By the tombs of my ancestors, none shall fry 
it but myself : with my own hand will I do it ! He then 
repaired to the hut of the superintendent, and, searching 
there, found in it everything that he required, the frying- 
pan, and even the salt, and wild marjoram, and other things. 
So he approached the fire-place, and put on the frying-pan, 
and fried it nicely ; and when it was done, he put it upon a 
banana-leaf, and, having taken from the garden some limes, 
he went up with the fish, and placed it before them. The 
young man, therefore, and the damsel and the sheykh Ibra- 
him advanced and ate; and when they had finished, they 
washed their hands, and Nur-ed-Din said. By Allah, O fisher- 
man, thou hast done us a kindness this night. Then putting 
his hand into his pocket, he took forth for him three pieces 
of gold, of those which Senjer had presented to him when 
he was setting forth on his journey, and said, O fisherman, 
excuse me; for, by Allah, if I had known thee before the 
events that have lately happened to me. I would have ex- 
tracted the bitterness of poverty from thy heart ; but take 


this as accordant with my present circumstances. So saying, 
he threw the pieces of gold to the Khali f eh, who took them, 
and kissed them, and put them in his pocket. The object of the 
Khalifeh in doing this was only that he might hear the damsel 
sing : so he said to him, Thou hast treated me with benefi- 
cence, and abundantly recompensed me; but I beg of thy un- 
bounded indulgence that this damsel may sing an air, that I 
may hear her. Nur-ed-Din therefore said, O Enis-el-Jelis ! 
She replied, Yes. — By my life, said he, sing to us something 
for the gratification of this fisherman; for he desireth to 
hear thee. And when she had heard what her master said, 
she took the lute, and tried it with her fingers, after she had 
twisted its pegs, and sang to it these two verses : — 

The fingers of many a fawn-like damsel have played upon the lute, 
and the soul hath been ravished by the touch. 

She hath made the deaf to hear her songs ; and the dumb hath 
exclaimed, Thou hast excelled in thy singing ! 

Then she played again, in an extraordinary manner, so as 
to charm the minds of her hearers, and sang the following 
couplet : — 

We are honoured by your visiting our abode, and your splendour 
hath dispelled the darkness of the moonless night : 

It is therefore incumbent upon me to perfume my dwelling with 
musk and rosewater and camphor. 

Upon this, the Khalifeh was affected with violent emotion, 
and overcome by ecstasy, so that he was no longer master 
of himself from excessive delight ; and he began to exclaim, 
Allah approve thee ! Allah approve thee ! Allah approve 
thee ! So Nur-ed-Din said to him, O fisherman, have the 
damsel and her art in striking the chords pleased thee? — 
Yea, by Allah ! exclaimed the Khalifeh. And Nur-ed-Din 
immediately said, She is bestowed upon thee as a present 
from me, the present of a generous man who will not revoke 
his gift. And he rose upon his feet, and took a melwatah, 
and threw it upon the Khalifeh in the fisherman's disguise, 
ordering him to depart with the damsel. But she looked 
towards him, and said, O my master, wilt thou part from 
me without bidding me farewell? If we must be separated. 


pause while I take leave of thee. — And she recited the fol- 
lowing couplet : — 

If you depart from me, still your abode will be in my heart, in the 

recess of my bosom. 
I implore the Compassionate to grant our reunion ; and a boon such 

as this, God will grant to whom He ijleascth. 

And when she had finished, Nur-ed-Din thus replied to 
her: — 

She bade me farewell on the day of separation, saying, while she 

wept from the pain that it occasioned. 
What wilt thou do after my departure ? — Say this, I replied, unto 

him who will survive it. 

The Khali f eh, when he heard this, was distressed at the 
thought of separating them, and, looking towards the young 
man, he said to him, O my master, art thou in fear on account 
of any crime, or art thou in debt to any one? Nur-ed-Din 
answered, By Allah, O fisherman, a wonderful event, and an 
extraordinary adventure, happened to me and this damsel: 
if it were engraved on the understanding, it would be a lesson 
to him who would be admonished, — Wilt thou not, rejoined 
the Khali f eh, relate to us thy story, and acquaint us with thy 
case? Perhaps thy doing so may be productive of relief; for 
the relief of God is near. — So Nur-ed-Din said. Wilt thou 
hear our story in poetry or in prose? — Prose, answered the 
Khalifeh, is mere talk; and verse, words put together like 
pearls. And Nur-ed-Din hung down his head towards the 
ground, and then related his story in a series of verses ; but 
when he had finished, the Khalifeh begged him to explain his 
case more fully. He therefore acquainted him with the whole 
of his circumstances from beginning to end ; and when the 
Khalifeh understood the affair, he said to him, Whither 
wouldst thou now repair? He answered, God's earth is wide. 
The Khalifeh then said to him, I will write for thee a letter 
which thou shalt convey to the Sultan Mohammad the son 
of Suleyman Ez-Zeyni, and when he shall have read it, he 
will do thee no injury. — Is there in the world, said Nur-ed- 
Din, a fisherman who corrcspondeth with Kings? \'crily this 
is a thing that can never be. — Thou hast spoken truly, re- 


joined the Khalifeh ; but I will acquaint thee with the cause. 
Know that I read in the same school with him, under a 
master, and I was his monitor ; and after that, prosperity 
was his lot, and he became a Sultan, while God made me to 
be a fisherman : yet I have never sent to request anything of 
him, but he hath performed my wish ; and if I sent to him 
every day to request a thousand things of him, he would do 
what I asked. When Nur-ed-Din, therefore, heard his words, 
he said to him. Write, that I may see. And he took an ink- 
horn and a pen, and wrote (after the phrase, In the name of 
God, the Compassionate, the Merciful). — To proceed. — This 
letter is from Harun Er-Rashid the son of El-Mahdi, to his 
highness Mohammad the son of Suleyman Ez-Zeyni, who hath 
been encompassed by my beneficence, and whom I constituted 
my viceroy of a portion of my dominions. I acquaint thee 
that the bearer of this letter is Nur-ed-Din the son of El-Fadl 
the son of Khakan the Wezir, and on his arrival in thy pres- 
ence thou shalt divest thyself of the regal authority, and seat 
him in thy place; for I have appointed him to the office to 
which I formerly appointed thee : so disobey not my com- 
mands: and peace be on thee. — He then gave the letter to 
'Ali Nur-ed-Din, who took it and kissed it and put it in his 
turban, and immediately set forth on his journey. 

The sheykh Ibrahim now looked towards the Khalifeh in 
his fisherman's disguise, and said to him, O most contemptible 
of fishermen, thou hast brought us two fish worth twenty 
half-dirhems, and received three pieces of gold, and desirest 
to take the slave also. But when the Khalifeh heard these 
words, he cried out at him, and made a sign to Mesrur, who 
immediately discovered himself, and rushed in upon him. 
Ja'far, meanwhile, had sent one of the attendants of the 
garden to the porter of the palace to demand a suit of clothing 
of him for the Prince of the Faithful; and the man went, 
and brought the dress, and kissed the ground before the Kha- 
lifeh, who took off and gave to him that with which he was 
then clad, and put on this suit. The sheykh Ibrahim was 
sitting on a chair: the Khalifeh paused to see the result: 
and the sheykh was astounded, and began to bite the ends 
of his fingers through his confusion, saying. Am I asleep or 
awake? The Khalifeh then looked at him, and said, O sheykh 


Ibrahim, what is this predicament in which thou art placed? 
And upon this, the sheykh recovered from his intoxication, 
and, throwing himself upon the ground, implored forgiveness: 
and the Khalifeh pardoned him; after which he gave orders 
that the damsel should be conveyed to the palace where he 
resided; and when she had arrived there, he appropriated to 
her a separate lodging, and appointed persons to wait upon 
her, and said to her, Know that I have sent thy master as 
Sultan of El-Basrah, and, if God please, I will despatch to 
him a dress of honour, and send thee also to him with it. 

As to Nur-ed-Din, he continued his journey until he entered 
El-Basrah, and went up to the palace of the Sultan, when he 
uttered a loud cry, whereupon the Sultan desired him to ap- 
proach ; and when he came into the presence of the King, 
he kissed the ground before him, and produced the letter, and 
handed it to him. And as soon as the Sultan saw the super- 
scription in the handwriting of the Prince of the Faithful, he 
rose upon his feet, and, having kissed it three times, said, I 
hear and pay obedience to God (whose name be exalted !) and 
to the Prince of the Faithful. He then summoned before him 
the four Kadis,** and the Emirs, and was about to divest him- 
self of the regal office: but, lo, the Wezir El-Mo'in the son of 
Sawi was before him, and the Sultan gave him the letter of 
the Prince of the Faithful, and when he saw it, he rent it in 
pieces, and put it into his mouth, and chewed it, and threw it 
down. The Sultan, enraged, cried, Wo to thee ! What hath 
induced thee to act thus? — He answered, This man hath had 
no interview with the Khalifeh nor with his Wezir; but is a 
young wretch, an artful devil, who, having met with a paper 
containing the handwriting of the Khalifeh. hath counter- 
feited it, and written what he desired: wherefore then 
shouldst thou abdicate the sovereignty, when the Khalifeh 
hath not sent to thee an envoy with a royal autographical 
mandate; for if this affair were true, he had sent with him a 
Chamberlain or a Wezir; but he came alone. — What then is 
to be done? said the Sultan. The Wezir answered, Send away 
this young man with me, and I will take charge of him. and 
despatch him in company with a Chamberlain to the city of 
Baghdad; and if his words be true, he \\ill bring us a royal 

* Of the four orthodox sects. 


autographical mandate and diploma of investiture; and if 
not true, they will send him back to us with the Chamber- 
lain, and I will take my revenge upon my offender. 

When the Sultan heard what the Wezir said, it pleased 
him; and the Wezir took him away, and cried out to the 
pages, who threw down Nur-ed-Din, and beat him until he 
became insensible. He then ordered to put a chain upon his 
feet, and called to the jailer; and when he came, he kissed 
the ground before him. This jailer was named Kuteyt; and 
the Wezir said to him, O Kuteyt, I desire that thou take this 
person, and cast him into one of the subterranean cells which 
are in thy prison, and torture him night and day. The jailer 
replied, I hear and obey: — and he put Nur-ed-Din into the 
prison, and locked the door upon him ; but after having done 
this, he gave orders to sweep a mastabah within the door, and 
furnished it with a prayer-carpet and a pillow, and seated 
Xur-ed-Din upon it, and loosed his chain, and treated him 
with kindness. The Wezir every day sent to him, command- 
ing him to beat him; and the jailer pretended that he tortured 
him, while, on the contrary, he treated him with benignity. 

Thus he continued to do for forty days ; and on the forty- 
first day, there came a present from the Khalifeh, and when 
the Sultan saw it, it pleased him, and he conferred with the 
Wezirs upon the subject; but one said, Perhaps this present 
was designed for the new Sultan. Upon this, the Wezir 
El-Mo'in the son of Sawi remarked, It were proper to have 
slain him on his arrival : — and the Sultan exclaimed. Now 
thou hast reminded me of him, go down and bring him, and 
I will strike off his head. The Wezir replied, I hear and 
obey : — and arose, saying, I desire to proclaim throughout the 
city, He who wisheth to witness the decapitation of Nur-ed- 
Din 'Ali the son of El-Fadl the son of Khakan, let him come 
to the palace : — so that all the people may come to behold it, 
and I may gratify my heart, and mortify my cnviers. The 
Sultan said. Do what thou wilt. So the Wezir descended, 
full of joy and happiness, and went to the Wali, and ordered 
him to make this proclamation ; and when the people heard 
the crier, they all grieved and wept, even the boys in the 
schools, and the tradesmen in their shops; and numbers of 
the people strove together to take for themselves places where 


they might behold the spectacle, while others repaired to the 
prison, to accompany him thence. The Wezir then went 
forth, attended by ten memluks, to the prison : and Kuteyt 
the jailer said to him, What dost thou desire, O our lord the 
Wezir? — Bring forth to me, said the Wezir, this young 
wretch. The jailer replied. He is in a most miserable state 
from the excessive beating that I have inflicted upon him. 
And he entered, and found him reciting some verses, com- 
mencing thus : — 

Who is there to aid me in my affliction? For my pain hath become 
intense, and my remedy is scarce procurable ! 

And the jailer pulled off from him his clean clothes, and, 
having clad him in two dirty garments, brought him out to 
the Wezir. Nur-ed-Din then looked at him, and saw that 
he was his enemy who had incessantly desired his destruc- 
tion; and when he beheld him, he wept, and said to him, 
Art thou secure from misfortune? Hast thou not heard the 
saying of the poet? — 

They made use of their power, and used it tyrannically ; and soon 
it became as though it never had existed. 

O Wezir, know that God (whose perfection be extolled, and 
whose name be exalted!) is the doer of whatsoever He 
willeth. — O 'Ali, replied the Wezir, wouldst thou frighten 
me by these words? I am now going to strike off thy head, 
in spite of the people of El-Basrah : and I will pay no regard 
to thy counsel; but I will rather attend to the saying of the 
poet : — 

Let fortune do whatever it willeth, and bear with cheerful mind 
the effects of fate. 

How excellent also is the saying of another poet: — 

He who liveth after his enemy a single day, hath attained his 

The Wezir then ordered his pages to convey him on the 
back of a mule; whereupon they said to him (being distressed 
to obey), Suffer us to stone him and cut him in pieces, 


though our lives should be sacrificed in consequence. But 
he replied, Never do it. Have ye not heard what the poet 
hath said: — 

A decreed term is my inevitable lot ; and as soon as its days have 

expired, I die. 
If the lions dragged me into their forest, they could not close it 

while aught of it remained. 

So they proceeded to proclaim before Nur-ed-Din, This is 
the smallest recompense of him who forgeth a letter from 
the Khalifeh to the Sultan. And they continued to parade 
him throughout El-Basrah until they stationed him beneath 
the window of the palace, and in the place of blood, when the 
executioner approached him, and said to him, I am a slave 
imder command; and if thou hast any want, acquaint me with 
it, that I may perform it for thee; for there remaineth not 
of thy life any more than the period until the Sultan shall 
put forth his face from the window. And upon this, Nur-ed- 
Din looked to the right and left, and recited these verses: — 

Is there among you a merciful friend, who will aid me? I conjure 

you by Allah to answer me ! 
My life hath passed, and my death is at hand ! Is there any who 

will pity me, to obtain my recompense. 
And consider my state, and relieve my anguish, by a draught of 

water that my torment may be lightened? 

And the people were excited to tears for him ; and the execu- 
tioner took some water to hand it to him ; but the Wezir 
arose from, his place, and struck the kulleh' of water with 
his hand, and broke it, and called to the executioner, com- 
manding him to strike off his head; whereupon he bound 
Nur-ed-Din's eyes. The people, however, called out against 
the Wezir, and raised a tumultuous cry against him, and 
many words passed between them ; and while they were in 
this state, lo, a dust rose, and filled the sky and the open 
tracts ; and when the Sultan beheld it, as he sat in the palace, 
he said to his attendants, See what is the news. The Wezir 
said, After thou shalt first have beheaded this man. But the 
Sultan replied. Wait thou until we see what is the news. 
Now this dust was the dust of Ja'far, the Wezir of the 

*A small porous earthen bottle with a wide mouth. 


Khalifeh, and of his attendants; and the cause of their 
coming was this: — The KhaUfeh had passed thirty days with- 
out remembering the affair of 'AH the son of EI-Fadl the 
son of Khakan, and no one mentioned it to him, until he 
came one night to the private apartment of Enis-el-Jelis, 
and heard her lamenting, as she recited, with a soft voice, 
the saying of the poet: — 

Thine image [is before me] whether distant or near, and my tongue 
never ceaseth to mention thee. 

Her lamentation increased, and lo, the Khalifeh opened the 
door, and entered the chamber, and saw Enis-el-Jelis weep- 
ing. On beholding the Khalifeh, she fell at his feet, and, 
having kissed them three times, recited these two verses : — 

thou of pure origin, and of excellent birth ; of ripe-fruitful 

branch, and of unsullied race ! 

1 remind thee of the promise thy beneficence granted, and far be it 

from thee that thou shouldst forget it. 

The Khalifeh said to her. Who art thou ? She answered, I 
am the present given to thee by 'Ali the son of El-Fadl the 
son of Khakan ; and I request the fulfilment of the promise 
which thou gavest me, that thou wouldst send me to him 
with the honorary gift; for I have now been here thirty days 
and have not tasted sleep. And upon this, the Khalifeh sum- 
moned Ja'far EI-Barmeki, and said to him. For thirty days 
I have heard no news of 'Ali the son of El-Fadl the son of 
Khakan, and I imagine nothing less than that the Sultan hath 
killed him: but, by my head! by the tombs of my ancestors! 
if any evil event have happened to him, I will destroy him 
who hath been the cause of it, though he be the dearest of 
men in my estimation ! I desire, therefore, that thou journey 
immediately to El-Basrah, and bring me an account of the 
conduct of the King Mohammad the son of Suleyman Ez- 
Zeyni to 'AH the son of El-Fadl the son of Khakan. 

So Ja'far obeyed his commands, and set forth on his 
journey, and when he approached, and saw this tumult and 
crowd, he said. What is the occasion of this crowd? They 
related to him, therefore, the situation in which they were 
with regard to Nur-ed-Din ; and when he heard their words, 
he hastened to go up to the Sultan, and, having saluted him, 


acquainted him with the cause of his coming, and told him, 
that if any evil event had happened to 'Ali Xur-ed-Din, the 
Khali f eh w^ould destroy him who w^as the cause of it. He 
then arrested the Sultan, and the Wezir El-Mo'in the son 
of Sawi, and gave orders to liberate 'Ali Nur-ed-Din, and 
enthroned him as Sultan in the place of the Sultan Moham- 
mad the son of Suleyman Ez-Zeyni ; after which he remained 
in El-Basrah three days, the usual period of entertainment; 
and on the morning of the fourth day, 'Ali Nur-ed-Din said 
to Ja'far, I have a longing desire to see the Prince of the 
Faithful. So Ja'far said to the King Mohammad the son of 
Suleyman, Prepare thyself for travelling ; for we will perform 
the morning-prayers, and depart to Baghdad. He replied, I 
hear and obey : — and they performed the morning-prayers, 
and mounted all together, with the Wezir El-Mo'in the son 
of Sawi, who now repented of what he had done. As to 
*Ali Nur-ed-Din. he rode by the side of Ja'far : and they 
continued their journey until they arrived at Baghdad, the 
Abode of Peace. 

They then presented themselves before the Khalifeh and 
related to him the case of Nur-ed-Din ; whereupon the Kha- 
lifeh addressed him, saying. Take this sword, and strike off 
with it the head of thine enemy. And he took it, and ap- 
proached El-Mo'in the son of Sawi ; but he looked at him, 
and said to him, I did according to my nature, and do thou 
according to thine. And Nur-ed-Din threw down the sword 
from his hand, and, looking towards the Khalifeh, said, O 
Prince of the Faithful, he hath beguiled me. So the Khalifeh 
said. Do thou leave him : — and he said to Mesrur, O Mesrur, 
advance thou, and strike ofif his head. Mesrur, therefore, 
did so: and upon this, the Khalifeh said to 'Ali the son of 
El-Fadl the son of Khakan, Request of me what thou wilt. 
He replied, O my lord, I have no want of the sovereignty of 
El-Basrah, and desire nothing but to have the honour of 
serving thee. — Most willingly I assent, said the Khalifeh: — 
and he summoned the damsel, and when she had come before 
him, he bestowed favours upon them both : he gave to them 
one of the palaces of Baghdad, and assigned to them regular 
allowances, and made Nur-ed-Din one of his companions at 
the table; and he remained with him until death overtook him. 

[Nights 537—5^^] 

The Story of Es-Sindibad of the Sea and Es-Sindibad 

OF the Land 

THERE was, in the time of Khalifeh, the Prince of the 
Faithful, Harun Er-Rashid, in the city of Baghdad, a 
man called Es-Sindibad the Porter. He was a man in 
poor circumstances, who bore burdens for hire upon his head. 
And it happened to him that he bore one day a heavy bur- 
den, and that day was excessively hot; so he was wearied 
by the load, and perspired profusely, the heat violently 
oppressing him. In this state he passed by the door of a 
merchant, the ground before which was swept and sprinkled, 
and there the air was temperate; and by the side of the 
door was a wide mastabah. The porter therefore put down 
his burden upon that mastabah, to rest himself, and to scent 
the air; and when he had done so, there came forth upon 
him, from the door, a pleasant, gentle gale, and an exquisite 
odour, wherewith the porter was delighted. He seated him- 
self upon the edge of the mastabah, and heard in that place 
the melodious sounds of stringed instruments, with the lute 
among them, and mirth-exciting voices, and varieties of 
distinct recitations. He heard also the voices of birds, 
warbling, and praising God (whose name be exalted!) with 
diverse tones and with all dialects ; consisting of turtle-doves 
and he^ars and blackbirds and nightingales and ring-doves 
and kirawans;^ whereupon he wondered in his mind, and 
was moved with great delight. He then advanced to that 
door, and found within the house a great garden, wherein 
he beheld pages and slaves and servants and other depend- 
ants, and such things as existed not elsewhere save in the 
abodes of Kings and Sultans; and after that, there blew 
upon him the odour of delicious, exquisite viands, of all 
different kinds, and of delicious wine, 

* Or karawan: stonc-curlcw. 



Upon this he raised his eyes towards heaven, and said, 
Extolled be thy perfection, O Lord! O Creator! O Supplier 
of the conveniences of life! Thou suppliest whom Thou 
wilt without reckoning ! O Allah, I implore thy forgiveness 
of all offences, and turn to Thee repenting of all faults ! O 
Lord, there is no animadverting upon Thee with respect to 
thy judgment, and thy power; for Thou art not to be ques- 
tioned regarding that which Thou doest, and Thou art able 
to do whatsoever Thou wilt ! Extolled be thy perfection ! 
Thou enrichest whom Thou wilt, and whom Thou wilt Thou 
impoverishest ! Thou magnifiest whom Thou wilt, and whom 
Thou wilt Thou abasest ! There is no deity but Thou ! 
How great is thy dignity ! and how mighty is thy domin- 
ion ! and how excellent is thy government ! Thou hast be- 
stowed favours upon him whom Thou choosest among thy 
servants, and the owner of this place is in the utmost 
affluence, delighting himself with pleasant odours and 
delicious meats and exquisite beverages of all descriptions. 
And Thou hast appointed unto thy creatures what Thou 
wilt, and what Thou hast predestined for them; so that 
among them one is weary, and another is at ease; and 
one of them is prosperous, and another is like me, in the 
extreme of fatigue and abjection! — And he recited thus: — 

How many wretched persons are destitute of ease ! and how many 

are in luxury, reposing in the shade ! 
I find myself afflicted by trouble beyond measure ; and strange is 

my condition, and heavy is my load ! 
Others are in prosperity, and from wretchedness are free, and never 

for a single day have borne a load like mine ; 
Incessantly and amply blest, throughout the course of life, with 

happiness and grandeur, as well as drink and meat. 
All men whom God hath made are in origin alike ; and I resemble 

this man, and he resembleth me ; 
But otherwise, between us is a difference as great as the difference 

that we find between wine and vinegar. 
Yet in saying this, I utter no falsehood against Thee, [O my Lord;] 

art wise, and with justice Thou hast judged. 

And when Es-Sindibad the Porter had finished the rec- 
itation of his verses, he desired to take up his burden and 
to depart. But, lo, there came forth to him from that 
door a young page, handsome in countenance, comely in 



stature, magnificent in apparel; and he laid hold upon the 
porter's hand, saying to him. Enter : answer the summons 
of my master; for he calleth for thee. And the porter 
would have refused to enter with the page; but he could 
not. He therefore deposited his burden with the door- 
keeper in the entrance-passage, and, entering the house with 
the page, he found it to be a handsome mansion, presenting 
an appearance of joy and majesty. And he looked towards 
a grand chamber, in which he beheld noblemen and great 
lords; and in it were all kinds of flowers, and all kinds of 
sweet scents, and varieties of dried and fresh fruits, together 
with abundance of various kinds of exquisite viands, and 
beverage prepared from the fruit of the choicest grape-vines. 
In it were also instruments of music and mirth, and varieties 
of beautiful slave-girls, all ranged in proper order. And at 
the upper end of that chamber was a great and venerable 
man, in the sides of whose beard grey hairs had begun to 
appear. He was of handsome form, comely in countenance, 
with an aspect of gravity and dignity and majesty and state- 
lincss. So, upon this, Es-Sindibad the Porter was con- 
founded, and he said within himself. By Allah, this place is 
a portion of Paradise, or it is the palace of a King or Sultan ! 
Then, putting himself in a respectful posture, he saluted the 
assembly, prayed for them, and kissed the ground before 
them ; after which he stood, hanging down his head in 
humility. But the master of the house gave him permission 
to seat himself. He therefore sat. And the master of the 
house had caused him to draw near unto him, and now 
began to cheer him with conversation, and to welcome him ; 
and he put before him some of the various excellent, de- 
licious, exquisite viands. So Es-Sindibad the Porter ad- 
vanced, and, having said, In the name of God, the Com- 
passionate, the Merciful, — ate until he was satisfied and 
satiated, when he said. Praise be to God in every case! — 
and washed his hands, and thanked them for this. 

The master of the house then said, Thou art welcome, 
and thy day is blessed. What is thy name, and what trade 
dost thou follow? — O my master, he answered, my name is 
Es-Sindibad the Porter, and I bear upon my head men's 
merchandise for hire. And at this, the master of the house 


smiled, and he said to him, Know, O porter, that thy name 
is like mine ; for I am Es-Sindibad of the Sea : but, O 
porter, I desire that thou let me hear the verses that thou 
wast reciting when thou wast at the door. The porter 
therefore was ashamed, and said to him, I conjure thee by 
Allah that thou be not angry with me; for fatigue and 
trouble, and paucity of what the hand possesseth, teach a 
man ill manners, and impertinence. His host, however, re- 
plied. Be not ashamed ; for thou hast become my brother ; 
recite then the verses, since they pleased me when I heard 
them from thee as thou recitedst them at the door. So 
upon this the porter recited to him those verses, and they 
pleased him, and he was moved with delight on hearing 
them. He then said to him, O porter, know that my story 
is wonderful, and I will inform thee of all that happened to 
me and befell me before I attained this prosperity and sat 
in this place wherein thou seest me. For I attained not 
this prosperity and this place save after severe fatigue and 
great trouble and many terrors. How often have I endured 
fatigue and toil in my early years ! I have performed seven 
voyages, and connected with each voyage is a wonderful 
tale, that would confound the mind. All that which I 
endured happened by fate and destiny, and from that which 
is written there is no escape nor flight. 

The First Voyage of Es-Sindibad 

Know, O masters, O noble persons, that I had a father; 
a merchant, who was one of the first in rank among the 
people and the merchants, and who possessed abundant 
wealth and ample fortune. He died when I was a young 
child, leaving to me wealth and buildings and fields ; and 
when I grew up, I put my hand upon the whole of the 
property, ate well and drank well, associated with the young 
men, wore handsome apparel, and passed my life with my 
friends and companions, feeling confident that this course 
would continue and profit me ; and I ceased not to live in 
this manner for a length of time. I then returned to my 
reason, and recovered from my heedlessness, and found that 


my wealth had passed away, and my condition had changed, 
and all [the money] that I had possessed had gone. I 
recovered not to see my situation but in a state of fear and 
confusion of mind, and remembered a tale that I had heard 
before, the tale of our lord Suleyman the son of Da'ud (on 
both of whom be peace!), respecting his saying. Three 
things are better than three: the day of death is better than 
the day of birth ; and a living dog is better than a dead lion ; 
and the grave is better than the palace.* Then I arose, and 
collected what I had, of effects and apparel, and sold them ; 
after which I sold my buildings and all that my hand pos- 
sessed, and amassed three thousand pieces of silver; and it 
occurred to my mind to travel to the countries of other 
people; and I remembered one of the sayings of the poets, 
which was this : — 

In proportion to one's labour, eminences are gained ; and he who 

seeketh eminence passeth sleepless nights. 
He diveth in the sea who seeketh for pearls, and succeedeth in 

acquiring lordship and good fortune. 
Whoso seeketh eminence without labouring for it loseth his life 

in the search of vanity. 

Upon this, I resolved, and arose, and bought for myself 
goods and commodities and merchandise, with such other 
things as were required for travel ; and my mind had con- 
sented to my performing a sea-voyage. So I embarked in a 
ship, and it descended to the city of El-Basrah, with a com- 
pany of merchants; and we traversed the sea for many days 
and nights. We had passed by island after island, and from 
sea to sea, and from land to land, and in every place by 
which we passed we sold and bought, and exchanged mer- 
chandise. We continued our voyage until we arrived at an 
island like one of the gardens of Paradise, and at that island 
the master of the ship brought her to anchor with us. He 
cast the anchor, and put forth the landing-plank, and all 
who were in the ship landed upon that island. They had 
prepared for themselves fire-pots, and they lighted the fires 
in them; and their occupations were various: some cooked; 
others washed; and others amused themselves. I was 

* Eccles.. vii, i; ix, 4. 


among those who were amusing themselves upon the shores 
of tlie island, and the passengers were assembled to eat and 
drink and play and sport. But while we were thus engaged, 
lo, the master of the ship, standing upon its side, called out 
with his loudest voice, O ye passengers, whom may God 
preserve ! come up quickly in to the ship, hasten to embark, 
and leave your merchandise, and flee with your lives, and 
save yourselves from destruction ; for this apparent island, 
upon which ye are, is not really an island, but it is a great 
fish that hath become stationary in the midst of the sea, and 
the sand hath accumulated upon it, so that it hath become 
like an island, and trees have grown upon it since times of 
old ; and when ye lighted the fire upon it, the fish felt the heat, 
and put itself in motion, arid now it will descend with you 
into the sea, and ye w-ill all be drowned : then seek for your- 
selves escape before destruction, and leave the merchandise. 
— The passengers, therefore, hearing the words of the 
master of the ship, hastened to go up into the vessel, leaving 
the merchandise, and their other goods, and their copper 
cooking-pots, and their fire-pots; and some reached the 
ship, and others reached it not. The island had moved, 
and descended to the bottom of the sea, with all that were 
upon it, and the roaring sea, agitated with w'aves, closed 
over it. 

I was among the number of those who remained behind 
upon the island; so I sank in the sea with the rest who 
sank. But God (whose name be exalted!) delivered me 
and saved me from drowning and supplied me with a great 
wooden bowl, of the bowls in which the passengers had 
been washing, and I laid hold upon it and got into it, in- 
duced by the sweetness of life, and beat the water with my 
feet as with oars, while the waves sported with me, tossing 
me to the right and left. The master of the vessel had 
caused her sails to be spread, and pursued his voyage with 
those who had embarked, not regarding such as had been 
submerged; and I ceased not to look at that vessel until it 
was concealed from my eye. I made sure of destruction, 
and night came upon me while I was in this state; but 
I remained so a day and a night, and the wind and the 
waves aided me until the bowl came to a stoppage with me 


under a high island, whereon were trees overhanging the 
sea. So I laid hold upon a branch of a lofty tree, and 
clung to it, after I had been at the point of destruction ; and 
I kept hold upon it until I landed on the island, when I 
found my legs benumbed, and saw marks of the nibbling of 
fish upon their hams, of which I had been insensible by 
reason of the violence of the anguish and fatigue that I was 

I threw myself upon the island like one dead, and was 
unconscious of my existence, and drowned in my stupefac- 
tion ; and I ceased not to remain in this condition until the 
next day. The sun having then risen upon me, I awoke 
upon the island, and found that my feet were swollen, and 
that I had become reduced to the state in which I then was. 
Awhile I dragged myself along in a sitting posture, and then 
I crawled upon my knees. And there were in the island 
fruits in abundance, and springs of sweet water : therefore I 
ate of those fruits; and I ceased not to continue in this state 
for many days and nights. My spirit had then revived, my 
soul had returned to me, and my power of motion was 
renewed; and I began to meditate, and to walk along the 
shore of the island, amusing myself among the trees with 
the sight of the things that God (whose name be exalted!) 
had cr eat ^ ; and I had made for myself a staff from those 
trees, to lean upon it. Thus I remained until I walked, one 
day, upon the shore of the island, and there appeared unto 
me an indistinct object in the distance. I imagined that it 
was a wild beast, or one of the beasts of the sea; and I 
walked towards it, ceasing not to gaze at it ; and. lo, it was 
a mare, of superb appearance, tethered in a part of the 
island by the sea-shore. I approached her ; but she cried 
out against me with a great cry, and I trembled with fear of 
her, and was about to return, when, behold, a man came 
forth from beneath the earth, and he called to me and 
pursued me, saying to me. Who art thou, and whence hast 
thou come, and what is the cause of thine arrival in this 
place? So I answered him, O my master, know that I am 
a stranger, and I was in a ship, and was submerged in the 
sea with certain others of the passengers ; but God supplied 
me with a wooden bowl, and I got into it, and it bore me 


along until the waves cast me upon this island. And when 
he heard my words, he laid hold of my hand and said to 
me, Come with me. I therefore went with him, and he 
descended with me into a grotto beneath the earth, and 
conducted me into a large subterranean chamber, and, hav- 
ing seated me at the upper end of that chamber, brought 
me some food. I was hungry ; so I ate until I was satiated 
and contented, and my soul became at ease. Then he 
asked me respecting my case, and what had happened to 
me; wherefore I acquainted him with my whole atfair from 
beginning to end ; and he wondered at my story. 

And when I had finished my tale, I said, I conjure thee 
by Allah, O my master, that thou be not displeased with 
me: I have acquainted thee with the truth of my case and 
of what hath happened to me, and I desire of thee that thou 
inform me who thou art, and what is the cause of thy dwell- 
ing in this chamber that is beneath the earth, and what is 
the reason of thy tethering this mare by the sea-side. So 
he replied, Know that we are a party dispersed in this 
island, upon its shores, and we are the grooms of the King 
El-Mihraj, having under our care all his horses; and every 
month, when moonlight commenceth, we bring the swift 
mares, and tether them in this island, every mare that has 
not foaled, and conceal ourselves in this chamber beneath 
the earth, that they may attract the sea-horses. This is 
the time of the coming forth of the sea-horse; and after- 
wards, if it be the will of God (whose name be exalted!), I 
will take thee with me to the King El-Mihraj, and divert 
thee with the sight of our country. Know, moreover, that 
if thou hadst not met with us, thou hadst not seen any one 
in this place, and wouldst have died in misery, none know- 
ing of thee. But I will be the means of the preservation 
of thy life, and of thy return to thy country. — I therefore 
prayed for him, and thanked him for his kindness and 
beneficence; and while we were thus talking, the horse 
came forth from the sea, as he had said. And shortly 
after, his companions came each leading a mare; and, see- 
ing rhe with him, they inquired of me my story, and I told 
them what I had related to him. They then drew near to 
me, and spread the table, and ate, and invited me : so I ate 


with them ; after which, they arose, and mounted the horses, 
taking me with them, having mounted me on a mare. 

We commenced our journey, and proceeded without ceas- 
ing until we arrived at the city of the King El-I\Iihraj, and 
they went in to him and acquainted him with my story. 
He therefore desired my presence, and they took me in to 
him, and stationed me before him ; whereupon I saluted him, 
and he returned my salutation, and welcomed me, greeting 
me in an honourable manner, and inquired of me respecting 
my case. So I informed him of all that had happened to 
me, and of all that I had seen, from beginning to end : and 
he wondered at that which had befallen me and happened 
to me, and said to me, O my son, by Allah thou hast ex- 
perienced an extraordinary preservation, and had it not been 
for the predestined length of thy life, thou hadst not escaped 
from these difficulties ; but praise be to God for thy safety ! 
Then he treated me with beneficence and honour, caused 
me to draw near to him, and began to cheer me with con- 
versation and courtesy ; and he made me his superintendent 
of the sea-port, and registrar of every vessel that came to 
the coast. I stood in his presence to transact his affairs, 
and he favoured me and benefited me in every respect; he 
invested me with a handsome and costly dress, and I became 
a person high in credit with him in intercessions, and in ac- 
complishing the affairs of the people. I ceased not to remain 
in his service for a long time; and whenever I went to the 
shore of the sea, I used to inquire of the merchants and 
travellers and sailors respecting the direction of the city of 
Baghdad, that perchance some one might inform me of it, 
and I might go with him thither and return to my country; 
but none knew it, nor knew any one who went to it. At 
this I was perplexed, and I was weary of the length of my 
absence from home ; and in this state I continued for a 
length of time, until T went in one day to the King El- 
Mihraj, and found with him a party of Indians. I saluted 
them, and they returned my salutation, and welcomed me, 
and asked me respecting my country; after which, I ques- 
tioned them as to their country, and they told me that 
they consisted of various races. Among them are the 
Shakiriyeh, who are the most noble of their races, who 



Oppress no one, nor offer violence to any. And among 
them are a class called the Brahmans, a people who never 
drink wine; but they are persons of pleasure and joy and 
sport and merriment, and possessed of camels and horses 
and cattle. They informed me also that the Indians are 
divided into seventy-two classes ; and I wondered at this 
extremely. And I saw, in the dominions of the King El- 
Mihraj, an island, among others, which is called Kasil, in 
which is heard the beating of tambourines and drums 
throughout the night, and the islanders and travellers in- 
formed us that Ed-Dejjar is in it. I saw too, in the sea 
in which is that island, a fish two hundred cubits long, and 
the fishermen fear it; wherefore they knock some pieces of 
wood, and it fleeth from them ; and I saw a fish whose 
face was like that of the owl. I likewise saw during that 
voyage many wonderful and strange things, such that, if I 
related them to you, the description would be too long. 

I continued to amuse myself with the sight of those islands 
and the things that they contained, until I stood one day 
upon the shore of the sea, with a staff in my hand, as was 
my custom, and lo, a great vessel approached, wherein 
were many merchants ; and when it arrived at the harbour 
of the city and its place of anchoring, the master furled its 
sails, brought it to an anchor by the shore, and put forth the 
landing-plank; and the sailors brought out every thing that 
was in that vessel to the shore. They were slow in taking 
forth the goods, while I stood writing their account, and I 
said to the master of the ship, Doth aught remain in thy 
vessel? He answered, Yes, O my master; I have some 
goods in the hold of the ship ; but their owner was drowned 
in the sea at one of the islands during our voyage hither, 
and his goods are in our charge ; so we desire to sell them, 
and to take a note of their price, in order to convey it to 
his family in the city of Baghdad, the Abode of Peace. I 
therefore said to the master, What was the name of that 
man, the owner of the goods? He answered. His name was 
Es-Sindibad of the Sea, and he was drowned on his voyage 
with, us in the sea. And when I heard his words, I looked 
at him with a scrutinizing eye, and recognized him ; and I 

'Antichrist of the Muslims. 


cried out at him with a great cry, and said, O master, know 
that I am the owner of the goods which thou hast mentioned, 
and I am Es-Sindibad of the Sea, who descended upon the 
island from the ship, with the other merchants who de- 
scended ; and when the fish that we were upon moved, and 
thou calledst out to us, some got into the vessel, and the rest 
sank, and I was among those who sank. But God (whose name 
be exalted ! ) preserved me and saved me from drowning by 
means of a large wooden bowl, of those in which passengers 
were washing, and I got into it, and began to beat the water 
with my feet, and the wind and the waves aided me until I 
arrived at this island, when I landed on it, and God (whose 
name be exalted!) assisted me, and I met the grooms of the 
King El-Mihraj, who took me with them and brought me to 
this city. They then led me into the King El-Mihraj, and 
I acquainted him with my story; whereupon he bestowed 
benefits upon me, and appointed me clerk of the harbour of 
this city, and I obtained profit in his service, and favour 
with him. Therefore these goods that thou hast are my 
goods and my portion. 

But the master said. There is no strength nor power but 
in God, the High, the Great ! There is no longer faith nor 
conscience in any one ! — Wherefore, O master, said I, when 
thou hast heard me tell thee my "^ory? He answered. Be- 
cause thou hcardest me say that I had goods whose owner 
was drowned : therefore thou desirtst to take them without 
price; and this is unlawful to thee; for we saw him when he 
sank, and there were with him many of the passengers, not 
one of whom escaped. How then dost thou pretend that 
thou art the owner of the goods? — So I said to him, O 
master, hear my story, and understand my words, and my 
veracity will become manifest to thee- for falsehood is a 
characteristic of the hypocrites. Then I related to him all 
that I had done from the time that I went forth with him 
from the city of Baghdad until we arrived at that island upon 
which we were submerged in the sea, and I mentioned to 
him some circumstances that had occurred between me and 
him. Upon this, therefore, the master and the merchants 
were convinced of my veracity, and recognized me ; and 
they congratulated me on my safety, all of them saying. By 


Allah, we believed not that thou hadst escaped drowning; 
but God hath granted thee a new life. They then gave nie 
the goods, and I found my name written upon them, and 
nought of them was missing. So I opened them, and took 
forth from them something precious and costly; the sailors 
of the ship carried it with me, and I went up with it to the 
King to ofifer it as a present, and inform him that this 
ship was the one in which I was a passenger. I told him 
also that my goods had arrived all entire, and that this 
present was a part of them. And the King wondered at this 
affair extremely ; my veracity in all that I had said became 
manifest to him, and he loved me greatly, and treated me 
with exceeding honour, giving me a large present in return 
for mine. 

Then I sold my bales, as well as the other goods that I 
had, and gained upon them abundantly ; and I purchased 
other goods and merchandise and commodities of that city. 
And when the merchants of the ship desired to set forth on 
their voyage, I stowed all that I had in the vessel, and, going 
in to the King, thanked him for his beneficence and kind- 
ness; after which I begged him to grant me permission to 
depart on my voyage to my country and my family. So he 
bade me farewell, and gave me an abundance of things at 
my departure, of the commodities of that city ; and when I 
had taken leave of him, I embarked in the ship, and we set 
sail by the permission of God, whose name be exalted ! 
Fortune served us, and destiny aided us, and we ceased not 
to prosecute our voyage night and day until we arrived in 
safety at the city of El-Basrah. There we landed, and re- 
mained a short time; and I rejoiced at my safety, and my 
return to my country ; and after that, I repaired to the city 
of Baghdad, the Abode of Peace, with abundance of bales' 
and goods and merchandise of great value. Then I went to 
my quarter, and entered my house, and all my family and 
companions came to me. I procured for myself servants 
and other dependants, and memluks and concubines and 
male black slaves, so that I had a large establishment ; and 
I purchased houses and other immovable possessions, more 
than I had at first. I enjoyed the society of my companions 
and friends, exceeding my former habits, and forgot all that 


I had suffered from fatigue, and absence from my native 
country, and difficulty, and the terrors of travel. I occupied 
myself with delights and pleasures, and delicious meats and 
exquisite drinks, and continued in this state. Such were the 
events of the first of my voyages ; and to-morrow, if it be the 
will of God (whose name be exalted!), I will relate to you 
the tale of the second of the seven voyages. 

Es-Sindibad of the Sea then made Es-Sindibad of the 
Land to sup with him ; after which he gave orders to present 
him with a hundred pieces of gold, and said to him. Thou 
hast cheered us by thy company this day. So the porter 
thanked him, and took from him what he had given him, 
and went his way, meditating upon the events that befell 
and happened to mankind, and wondering extremely. He 
slept that night in his abode ; and when the morning came, 
he repaired to the house of Es-Sindibad of the Sea, and 
went in to him ; and he welcomed him, and treated him 
with honour, seating him by him. And after the rest of 
his companions had come, the food and drink were set 
before them, and the time was pleasant to them, and they 
were merry. Then Es-Sindibad of the Sea began his narra- 
tive thus : — 

The Sfxond Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

Know, O my brothers, that I was enjoying a most com- 
fortable life, and the most pure happiness, as ye were told 
yesterday, until it occurred to my mind, one day, to travel 
again to the lands of other people, and I felt a longing 
for the occupation of traffic, and the pleasure of seeing 
the countries and islands of the world, and gaining my 
subsistence. I resolved upon that affair, and, having taken 
forth from my money a large sum, I purchased with it goods 
and merchandise suitable for travel, and packed them up. 
Then I went to the bank of the river, and found a hand- 
some, new vessel, with sails of comely canvas, and it had 
a numerous crew, and was superfluously equipped. So I 

* [A parasrraph similar to tlic procodinp occurs at the end of the nar- 
rative of each of F.s-Sindihad's voyages, but, as in the case of Shahrazad's 
repetitions each night, it is not here repeated.] 


embarked my bales in it, as did also a party of merchants 
besides, and we set sail that day. The voyage was pleasant 
to us, and we ceased not to pass from sea to sea, and from 
island to island: and at every place where we cast anchor, 
we met the merchants and the grandees, and the sellers 
and buyers, and we sold and bought, and exchanged goods. 
Thus we continued to do until destiny conveyed us to a 
beautiful island, abounding with trees bearing ripe fruits, 
where flowers diffused their fragrance, with birds warbling, 
and pure rivers: but there was not in it an inhabitant, nor 
a blower of a fire. The master anchored our vessel at that 
island and the merchants with the other passengers landed 
there, to amuse themselves with the sight of its trees, and 
to extol the perfection of God, the One, the Omnipotent, 
and to wonder at the power of the Almighty King. I also 
landed upon the island with the rest, and sat by a spring 
of pure water among the trees. I had with me some food, 
and I sat in that place eating what God (whose name be 
exalted ! ) had allotted me. The zephyr was sweet to us in 
that place, and the time was pleasant to me; so slumber 
overcame me, and I reposed there, and became immersed 
in sleep, enjoying that sweet zephyr, and the fragrant gales. 
I then arose, and found not in the place a human being 
nor a Jinni. The vessel had gone with the passengers, 
and not one of them remembered me, neither any of the 
merchants nor any of the sailors : so they left me in the 

I looked about it to the right and left, and found not 
in it any one save myself. I was therefore affected with 
violent vexation, not to be exceeded, and my gall-bladder 
almost burst by reason of the severity of my grief and 
mourning and fatigue. I had not with me aught of worldly 
goods, neither food nor drink, and I had become desolate, 
weary in my soul, and despairing of life; and I said. Not 
every time doth the jar escape unbroken; and if I escaped 
the first time, and found him who took me with him from 
the shore of the island to the inhabited part, far, far from 
me this time is the prospect of my finding him who will 
convey me to inhabited lands ! Then I began to weep and 
wail for myself until vexation overpowered me; and I 


blamed myself for that which I had done, and for my 
having undertaken this voyage and fatigue after I had been 
reposing at ease in my abode and my country, in ample 
happiness, and enjoying good food and good drink and 
good apparel, and had not been in want of any thing, either 
of money or goods or merchandise. I repented of my 
having gone forth from the city of Baghdad, and set out on 
a voyage over the sea, after the fatigue that I had suffered 
during my first voyage, and I felt at the point of destruction, 
and said. Verily to God we belong, and verily unto Him we 
return! And I was in the predicament of the mad. After 
that, I rose and stood up, and walked about the island to 
the right and left, unable to sit in one place. Then I 
climbed up a lofty tree; and began to look from it to the 
right and left; but saw nought save sky and water, and 
trees and birds, and islands and sands. Looking, however, 
with a scrutinizing eye, there appeared to me on the island 
a white object, indistinctly seen in the distance, of enormous 
size: so I descended from the tree, and went towards it, 
and proceeded in that direction without stopping until I 
arrived at it; and, lo, it was a huge white dome, of great 
height and large circumference. I drew near to it, and 
walked round it ; but perceived no door to it ; and I found 
that I had not strength nor activity to climb it, on account 
of its exceeding smoothness. I made a mark at the place 
where I stood, and went round the dome measuring its 
circumference; and, lo, it was fifty full paces; and I medi- 
tated upon some means of gaining an entrance into it. 

The close of the day, and the setting of the sun. had 
now drawn near ; and, behold, the sun was hidden, and 
the sky became dark, and the sun was veiled from me. 
I therefore imagined that a cloud had come over it ; but 
this was in the season of summer: so I wondered: and I 
raised my head, and, contemplating that object attentively. 
I saw that it was a bird, of enormous size, bulky body, and 
wide wings, flying in the air; and this it was that con- 
cealed the body of the sun. and veiled it from view upon the 
island. At this my wonder increased, and I remembered 
a story which travellers and voyagers had told me long 
before, that there is, in certain of the islands, a bird of 


enormous size, called the rukh, that feedeth its young ones 
with elephants. I was convinced, therefore, that the dome 
which I had seen was one of the eggs of the rukh. I 
wondered at the works of God (whose name be exalted!); 
and while I was in this state, lo, that bird alighted upon 
the dome, and brooded over it with its wings, stretching 
out its legs behind upon the ground; and it slept over it. 
— Extolled be the perfection of Him who sleepeth not ! — 
Thereupon I arose, and unwound my turban from my head, 
and folded it and twisted it so that it became like a rope; 
and I girded myself with it, binding it tightly round my 
waist, and tied myself by it to one of the feet of that bird, 
and made the knot fast, saying within myself. Perhaps this 
bird will convey me to a land of cities and inhabitants, and 
that will be better than my remaining in this island. I 
passed the night sleepless, fearing that if I slept, the bird 
would fly away with me when I was not aware; and when 
the dawn came, and morn appeared, the bird rose from its 
egg, and uttered a great cry, and drew me up into the sky. 
It ascended and soared up so high that I imagined it had 
reached the highest region of the sky, and after that, it 
descended with me gradually until it alighted with me upon 
the earth, and rested upon a lofty spot. So when I reached 
the earth, I hastily untied the bond from its foot, fearing it, 
though it knew not of me nor was sensible of me; and 
after I had loosed my turban from it, and disengaged it 
from its foot, shaking as I did so, I walked away. Then 
it took something from the face of the earth in its talons, 
and soared to the upper region of the sky; and I looked 
attentively at that thing, and, lo, it was a serpent, of enor- 
mous size, of great body, which it had taken and carried off 
towards the sea ; and I wondered at that event. 

After this I walked about that place, and found myself 
upon an eminence, beneath which was a large, wide, deep 
valley ; and by its side, a great mountain, very high ; no 
one could see its summit by reason of its excessive height, 
and no one had power to ascend it. I therefore blamed 
myself for that which I had done, and said. Would that I 
had remained in the island, since it is better than this desert 
place; for in the island are found, among various fruits, 



what I might have eaten, and I might have drunk of its 
rivers; but in this place are neither trees nor fruits nor 
rivers : and there is no strength nor power but in God, the 
High, the Great ! Verily every time that I escape from a 
calamity, I fall into another that is greater and more severe I 
— Then I arose, and emboldened myself, and walked in 
that valley; and I beheld its ground to be composed of 
diamonds, with which they perforate minerals and jewels, 
and with which also they perforate porcelain and the cnyx; 
and it is a stone so hard that neither iron nor rock have 
any effect upon it, nor can any one cut off aught from it, or 
break it, unless by means of the lead-stone. All that valley 
was likewise occupied by serpents and venomous snakes, 
every one of them like a palm-tree ; and by reason of its 
enormous size, if an elephant came to it, it would swallow 
it. Those serpents appeared in the night, and hid them- 
selves in the day, fearing lest the rukh and the vulture 
should carry them off, and after that tear them in pieces; 
and the cause of that I know not. I remained in that 
valley, repenting of what I had done, and said within 
myself, By Allah, I have hastened my own destruction! 
The day departed from me, and I began to walk along that 
valley, looking for a place in which to pass the night, fear- 
ing those serpents, and forgetting my food and drink and 
subsistence, occupied only by care for my life. And there 
appeared to me a cave near by; so I walked thither, and 
I found its entrance narrow. I therefore entered it and, 
seeing a large stone by its mouth, I pushed it, and stopped 
with it the mouth of the cave while I was within it ; and I 
said within myself, I am safe now that I have entered this 
place; and when daylight shineth upon me, I will go forth, 
and see what destiny will do. Then I looked within the 
cave, and beheld a huge serpent sleeping at the upper end 
of it over its eggs. At this my flesh quaked, and I raised 
my head, and committed my case to fate and destiny; and I 
passed all the night sleepless, until the dawn rose and 
shone, when I removed the stone with which I had closed 
the entrance of the cave, and went forth from it, like one 
intoxicated, giddy from excessive sleeplessness and hunger 
and fear. 


I then walked along the valley; and while I was thus 
occupied, lo, a great slaughtered animal fell before me, and 
I found no one. So I wondered thereat extremely; and I 
remembered a story that I heard long before from cer- 
tain of the merchants and travellers, and persons in the habit 
of journeying about, — that in the mountains of the diamonds 
are experienced great terrors, and that no one can gain 
access to the diamonds, but that the merchants who import 
them know a stratagem by means of which to obtain them: 
that they take a sheep, and slaughter it, and skin it, and cut 
up its flesh, which they throw down from the mountain to 
the bottom of the valley: so, descending fresh and moist, 
some of these stones stick to it. Then the merchants leave 
it imtil midday, and birds of the large kind of vulture and 
the aquiline vulture descend to that meat, and, taking it in 
their talons, fly up to the top of the mountain; whereupon 
the merchants come to them, and cry out at them, and they 
fly way from the meat. The merchants then advance to 
that meat, and take from it the stones sticking to it; after 
which they leave the meat for the birds and the wild beasts, 
and carry the stones to their countries. And no one can 
procure the diamonds but by means of this stratagem. — 
Therefore when I beheld that slaughtered animal, and re- 
membered this story, I arose and went to the slaughtered 
beast. I then selected a great number of these stones, and 
put them into my pocket, and within my clothes ; and I 
proceeded to select, and put into my pockets and my 
girdle and my turban, and within my clothes. And while I 
was doing thus, lo, another great slaughtered animal. So I 
bound myself to it with my turban, and, laying myself down 
on my back, placed it upon my bosom, and grasped it firmly. 
Thus it was raised high above the ground; and, behold, a 
vulture descended upon it, seized it with its talons, and flew 
up with it into the air, with me attached to it; and it ceased 
not to soar up until it had ascended with it to the summit 
of the mountain, when it alighted with it, and was about to 
tear off some of it. And thereupon a great and loud cry 
arose from behind that vulture, and something made a 
clattering with a piece of wood upon the mountain; whereat 
the vulture flew away in fear, and soared into the sky. 


I therefore disengaged myself from the slaughtered ani- 
mal, with the blood of which my clothes were polluted ; 
and I stood by its side. And, lo, the merchant who had 
cried out at the vulture advanced to the slaughtered animal, 
and saw me standing there. He spoke not to me ; for he 
was frightened at me, and terrified; but he came to the 
slaughtered beast, and turned it over ; and, not finding any 
thing upon it, he uttered a loud cry, and said, Oh, my 
disappointment ! There is no strength nor power but in 
God ! We seek refuge with God from Satan the accursed ! — 
He repented, and struck hand upon hand, and said, Oh, my 
grief! What is this affair? — So I advanced to him, and he 
said to me. Who art thou, and what is the reason of thy 
coming to this place? I answered him, Fear not, nor be 
alarmed; for I am a human being, of the best of mankind; 
and I was a merchant, and my tale is marvellous, and my 
story extraordinary, and the cause of my coming to this 
mountain and this valley is wondrous to relate. Fear not; 
for thou shalt receive of me what will rejoice thee: I have 
with me abundance of diamonds, of which I will give thee 
as much as will suffice thee, and every piece that I have is 
better than all that would come to thee by other means : 
therefore be not timorous nor afraid. — And upon this the 
man thanked me, and prayed for me, and conversed with 
me; and, lo, the other merchants heard me talking with 
their companion ; so they came to me. Each merchant 
had thrown down a slaughtered animal ; and when they 
came to us, they saluted me, and congratulated me on my 
safety, and took me with them ; and I acquainted them with 
my whole story, relating to them what I had suffered on my 
voyage, and telling them the cause of my arrival in this 
valley. Then I gave to the owner of the slaughtered animal 
to which I had attached myself an abundance of what I had 
brought with me; and he was delighted with me, and prayed 
for me, and thanked me for that ; and the other merchants 
said to me. By Allah, a new life hath been decreed thee; 
for no one ever arrived at this place before thee and escaped 
from it; but praise be to God for thy safety — They passed 
the next night in a pleasant and safe place, and I passed the 
night with them, full of the utmost joy at my safety and my 


escape from the valley of serpents, and my arrival in an 
inhabited country. 

And when day came, we arose and journeyed over that 
great mountain, beholding in that valley numerous serpents ; 
and we continued to advance until we arrived at a garden 
in a great and beautiful island, wherein were camphor-trees, 
under each of which trees a hundred men might shade them- 
selves. When any one desireth to obtain some camphor 
from one of these trees, he maketh a perforation in the 
upper part of it with something long, and catcheth what 
descendeth from it. The liquid camphor floweth from it, 
and concreteth like gum. It is the juice of that tree; and 
after this operation, the tree drieth, and becometh firewood. 
In that island too is a kind of wild beast called the rhinoc- 
eros which pastureth there like oxen and buffaloes in our 
country ; but the bulk of that wild beast is greater than the 
bulk of the camel, and it eateth the tender leaves of trees. 
It is a huge beast, with a single horn, thick, in the middle 
of its head, a cubit in length, wherein is the figure of a 
man. And in that island are some animals of the ex-kind. 
Moreover, the sailors, and travellers, and persons in the 
habit of journeying about in the mountains and the lands, 
have told us, that this wild beast which is named the rhinoc- 
eros lifteth the great elephant upon its horn, and pastureth 
with it upon the island and the shores, without being sensible 
of it ; and the elephant dieth upon its horn ; and its fat, 
melting by the heat of the sun, and flowing upon its head 
entereth its eyes, so that it becometh blind. Then it lieth 
down upon the shore, and the rukh cometh to it, and 
carrieth it off [with the elephant] in its talons to its young 
ones, and feedeth them with it and with that which is upon 
its horn, [namely the elephant]. I saw also in that island 
abundance of the buffalo-kind, the like of which existeth not 
among us. 

The valley before mentioned containeth a great quantity 
of diamonds such as I carried off and hid in my pockets. 
For these the people gave me in exchange goods and com- 
modities belonging to them ; and they conveyed them for 
me, giving me likewise pieces of silver and pieces of gold; 
and I ceased not to proceed with them, amusing myself 


with the sight of different countries, and of what God hath 
created, from valley to valley and from city to city, we, in 
our way. selling and buying, until we arrived at the city of 
El-Basrah. We remained there a few days, and then I came 
to the city of Baghdad, the Abode of Peace, and came to 
my quarter, and entered my house, bringing with me a great 
quantity of diamonds, and money and commodities and 
goods in abundance. I met my family and relations, be- 
stowed alms and gifts, made presents to all my family and 
companions, and began to eat well and drink well and wear 
handsome apparel. I associated with friends, and com- 
panions, forgot all that I had suffered, and ceased not to 
enjoy a pleasant life and joyful heart and dilated bosom, 
with sport and merriment. Every one who heard of my 
arrival came to me, and inquired of me respecting my 
voyage, and the states of the different countries: so I in- 
formed him, relating to him what I had experienced and 
suffered; and he wondered at the severity of my sufferings, 
and congratulated me on my safety. — This is the end of the 
account of the events that befell me and happened to me 
during the second voyage; and to-morrow, if it be the will 
of God (whose name be exalted), I will relate to you the 
events of the third voyage. 

The Third Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

Know, O my brothers (and hear from me the story of 
the third voyage, for it is more wonderful than the pre- 
ceding stories, hitherto related — and God is all-knowing 
with respect to the things which He hideth. and omniscient), 
that, in the times past, when I returned from the second 
voyage, and was in a state of the utmost joy and happiness, 
rejoicing in my safety, having gained great wealth, as I 
related to you yesterday, God having compensated me for 
all that I had lost, I resided in the city of Baghdad for a 
length of time in the most perfect prosperity and delight. 
and joy and happiness. Then my soul became desirous 
of travel and diversion, and I longed for commerce and 
gain and profits; the soul being prone to evil. So I medi- 
tated, and bought an abundance of goods suited for a sea- 


voyage, and packed them up, and departed with them from 
the city of Baghdad to the city of El-Basrah. There, 
coming to the bank of the river, I beheld a great vessel, in 
which were many merchants and other passengers, people 
of worth, and comely and good persons, people of religion 
and kindness and probity. I therefore embarked with them 
in that vessel, and we departed in reliance on the blessing 
of God (whose name be exalted!), and his aid and favour, 
rejoicing in expectation of good-fortune and safety. We 
ceased not to proceed from sea to sea, and from island to 
island, and from city to city; at every place by which we 
passed diverting ourselves, and selling and buying, in the 
utmost joy and happiness. Thus we did until we were, one 
day, pursuing our course in the midst of the roaring sea, 
agitated with waves, when, lo, the master standing at the 
side of the vessel, looked at the different quarters of the 
sea, and then slapped his face, furled the sails of the ship, 
cast its anchors, plucked his beard, rent his clothes, and 
uttered a great cry. So we said to him, O master, what is 
the news? And he answered. Know, O passengers, whom 
may God preserve ! that the wind hath prevailed against us, 
and driven us out of our course in the midst of the sea, and 
destiny hath cast us, through our evil fortune, towards the 
Mountain of Apes. No one hath ever arrived at this place 
and escaped, and my heart is impressed with the conviction 
of the destruction of us all. — And the words of the master 
were not ended before the apes had come to us and sur- 
rounded the vessel on every side, numerous as locusts, 
dispersed about the vessel and on the shore. We feared 
that, if we killed one of them, or struck him, or drove him 
away, they would kill us, on account of their excessive 
number; for numbers prevail against courage; and we 
feared them lest they should plunder our goods and our 
commodities. They are the most hideous of beasts, and 
covered with hair like black felt, their aspect striking 
terror. No one understandeth their language or their state, 
they shun the society of men, have yellow eyes, and black 
faces, and are of small size, the height of each one of them 
being four spans. They climbed up the cables, and severed 
them with their teeth, and they severed all the ropes of 


the vessel in every part : so the vessel inclined with the 
wind, and stopped at their mountain, and on their coast. 
Then, having seized all the merchants and the other 
passengers, and landed upon the island, they took the 
vessel with the whole of its contents, and went their way 
with it. 

They left us upon the island, the vessel became concealed 
from us, and we knew not whither they went with it. And 
while we were upon that island, eating of its fruits and its 
herbs, and drinking of the rivers that were there, lo, there 
appeared to us an inhabited house in the midst of the 
island. We therefore went towards it, and walked to it; 
and, behold, it was a pavilion, with lofty angles, with high 
walls, having an entrance with folding doors, which were 
open ; and the doors were of ebony. We entered this 
pavilion, and found in it a wide, open space, like a wide, 
large court, around which were many lofty doors, and at its 
upper end was a high and great mastabah. There were also 
in it utensils for cooking, hung over the fire-pots, and around 
them were many bones. But we saw not there any person ; 
and we wondered at that extremely. We sat in the open 
space in that pavilion a little while, after which we slept; 
and we ceased not to sleep from near the mid-time between 
sunrise and moon until sunset. And, lo, the earth trembled 
beneath us, and we heard a confused noise from the upper 
air, and there descended upon us, from the summit of the 
pavilion, a person of enormous size, in human form, and he 
was of black complexion, of lofty stature, like a great palm- 
tree: he had two eyes like two blazes of fire, and tusks like 
the tusks of swine, and a mouth of prodigious size, like the 
mouth of a well, and lips like the lips of a camel, hanging 
down upon his bosom, and he had ears like two mortars, 
hanging down upon his shoulders, and the nails of his hands 
were like the claws of the lion. So when we beheld him 
thus, we became unconscious of our existence, our fear was 
vehement, and our terror was violent, and through the 
violence of our fear and dread and terror we became as 
dead men. And after he had desecended upon the ground, 
he sat a little while upon the mastabah. Then he arose 
and came to us, and, seizing me by my hands from among 


my companions the merchants, lifted me up from the ground 
in his hand, and felt me and turned me over ; and I was in 
his hand like a little mouthful. He continued to feel me as 
the butcher feeleth the sheep that he is about to slaughter; 
but he found me infirm from excessive affliction, and lean 
from excessive fatigue and from the voyage ; having no 
flesh. He therefore let me go from his hand, and took 
another, from among my companions ; and he turned him 
over, as he had turned me over, and felt him as he had felt 
me, and let him go. He ceased not to feel us and turn us 
over, one after another, until he came to the master of our 
ship, who was a fat, stout, broad-shouldered man; a person 
of strength and vigour: so he pleased him, and he seized 
him as the butcher seizeth the animal that he is about to 
slaughter, and, having thrown him on the ground, put his 
foot upon his neck, which he thus broke. Then he brought 
a long spit, and thrust it into his throat, and spitted him ; 
after which he lighted a fierce fire, and placed over it that 
spit upon which the master was spitted, and ceased not to 
turn him round over the burning coals until his flesh was 
thoroughly roasted ; when he took him ofif from the fire, put 
him before him, and separated his joints as a man separates 
the joints of a chicken, and proceeded to tear in pieces his 
flesh with his nails, and to eat of it. Thus he continued to 
do until he had eaten his flesh, and gnawed his bones, and 
there remained of him nothing but some bones, which he 
threw by the side of the pavilion. He then sat a little, and 
threw himself down, and slept upon that mastabah, making 
a noise with his throat like that which is made by a lamb or 
other beast when slaughtered; and he slept uninterruptedly 
until the morning, when he went his way. 

As soon, therefore, as we were sure that he was far from 
us, we conversed together, and wept for ourselves, saying. 
Would that we had been drowned in the sea, or that the 
apes had eaten us ; for it were better than the roasting of a 
man upon burning coals ! By Allah, this death is a vile^ , 
one ! But what God willeth cometh to pass, and there is \ 
no strength nor power but in God, the High, the Great ! 
We die in sorrow, and no one knoweth of us ; and there is 
no escape for us from this place ! — We then arose and went 


forth upon the island, to see for us a place in which to hide 
ourselves, or to flee ; and it had become a light matter to 
us to die, rather than that our flesh should be roasted with 
fire. But we found not for us a place in which to hide our- 
selves; and the evening overtook us. So we returned to 
the pavilion, by reason of the violence of our fear, and sat 
there a little while; and, lo, the earth trembled beneath us, 
and that black approached us, and, coming among us, began 
to turn us over, one after another, as on the former occasion, 
and to feel us, until one pleased him ; whereupon he seized 
him, and did with him as he did with the master of the ship 
the day before. He roasted him, and ate him upon that 
mastabah, and ceased not to sleep that night, making a 
noise with his throat like a slaughtered animal ; and when 
the day came, he arose and went his way, leaving us as 
usual. Upon this we assembled together and conversed, 
and, said, one to another. By Allah, if we cast ourselves into 
the sea and die drowned, it will be better than our dying 
burnt ; for this mode of being put to death is abominable ! 
And one of us said, Hear my words. Verily we will con- 
trive a stratagem against him and kill him, and be at ease 
from apprehension of his purpose, and relieve the Muslims 
from his oppression and tyranny. — So I said to them, Hear, 
O my brothers. If we must kill him, we will transport this 
wood, and remove some of this firewood, and make for our- 
selves rafts, each to bear three men, after which we will 
contrive a stratagem to kill him, and embark on the rafts, 
and proceed over the sea to whatsoever place God shall 
desire. Or we will remain in this place until a ship shall 
pass by, when we will embark in it. And if we be not able 
to kill him, we will embark [on our rafts], and put out to 
sea; and if we be drowned, we shall be preserved from 
being roasted over the fire, and from being slaughtered. If 
we escape, we escape ; and if we be drowned, we die martyrs. 
— To this they all replied. By Allah, this is a right opinion 
and a wise proceeding. And we agreed upon this matter, 
and commenced the work. We removed the pieces of wood 
out of the pavilion, and constructed rafts, attached them to 
the sea-shore, and stowed upon them some provisions; after 
which we returned to the pavilion. 


And when it was evening, lo, the earth trembled with 
us, and the black came in to us, like the biting dog. He 
turned us over and felt us, one after another, and, having 
taken one of us, did with him as he had done with the 
others before him. He ate him^ and slept upon the mas- 
tabah, and the noise from his throat was like thunder. So 
thereupon we arose, and took two iron spits, of those which 
were set up, and put them in the fierce fire until they were 
red-hot, and became like burning coals ; when we grasped 
them firmly, and went with them to that black while he lay 
asleep snoring, and we thrust them into his eyes, all of us 
pressing upon them with our united strength and force. 
Thus we pushed them into his eyes as he slept, and his eyes 
were destroyed, and he uttered a great cry, whereat our 
hearts were terrified. Then he arose resolutely from that 
mastabah, and began to search for us, while we fled from 
him to the right and left, and he saw us not; for his sight 
was blinded; but we feared him with a violent fear, and 
made sure, in that time, of destruction, and despaired of 
safety. And upon this he sought the door, feeling for it, 
and went forth from it, crying out, while we were in the 
utmost fear of him; and lo, the earth shook beneath us, by 
reason of the vehemence of his cry. So when he went forth 
from the pavilion, we followed him, and he went his way, 
searching for us. Then he returned, accompanied by a 
female, greater than he, and more hideous in form ; and 
when we beheld him, and her who was with him, more 
horrible than he in appearance, we were in the utmost fear. 
As soon as the female saw us, we hastily loosed the rafts 
that we had constructed, and embarked on them, and pushed 
them forth into the sea. But each of the two blacks had a 
mass of rock, and they cast at us until the greater number 
of us died from the casting, there remaining of us only three 
persons, I and two others; and the raft conveyed us to 
another island. 

We walked forward upon that island until the close of 
the day, and the night overtook us in this state; so we slept 
a little; and we awoke from our sleep, and, lo, a serpent of 
enormous size, of large body and wide belly, had surrounded 
us. It approached one of us, and swallowed him to his 


shoulders : then it swallowed the rest of him, and we heard 
his ribs break in pieces in its belly; after which it went its 
way. At this we wondered extremely, and w-e mourned for 
our companion, and were in the utmost fear for ourselves, 
saying. By Allah, this is a wonderful thing! Every death 
that we witness is more horrible than the preceding one! 
We were rejoiced at our escape from the black; but our joy 
is not complete ! There is no strength nor power but in 
God ! By Allah, we have escaped from the black and from 
drowning; but how shall we escape from this unlucky 
serpent? — Then we arose and w^alked on over the island, 
eating of its fruits, and drinking of its rivers, and we ceased 
not to proceed till morning, when we found a great, lofty 
tree. So we climbed up it, and slept upon it; I having 
ascended to the highest of its branches. But when the 
night arrived, and it was dark, the serpent came, looking to 
the right and left, and, advancing to the tree upon which we 
were, came up to my companion, and swallowed him to his 
shoulders ; and it wound itself round the tree with him, 
and I heard his bones break in pieces in its belly: then it 
swallowed him entirely, while I looked on; after which it 
descended from the tree, and went its way. — I remained 
upon that tree the rest of the night ; and when the day 
came, and the light appeared, I descended from the tree, 
like one dead, by reason of excessive fear and terror, and 
desired to cast myself into the sea, that I might be at rest 
from the w'orld ; but it was not a light matter to me to do 
so; for life is dear. So I tied a wide piece of wood upon 
the soles of my feet, crosswise, and I tied one like it upon 
my left side, and a similar one upon my right side, and a 
similar one upon the front of my body, and I tied one long 
and wide upon the top of my head, crosswise, like that which 
was under the soles of my feet. Thus I w^as in the midst of 
these pieces of wood, and they enclosed me on every side. 
I bound them tightly, and threw myself with the whole upon 
the ground ; so I lay in the midst of the pieces of wood, 
which enclosed me like a closet. And when the evening 
arrived, the serpent approached as it was wont, and saw me, 
and drew towards me; but it could not swallow me when I 
was in that state, with the pieces of wood round me on every 


side. It went round me; but could not come at me: and I 
looked at it, being like a dead man, by reason of the violence 
of my fear and terror. The serpent retired from me, and 
returned to me; and thus it ceased not to do: every time 
that it desired to get at me to sv^^allow me, the pieces of 
wood tied upon me on every side prevented it. It continued 
to do thus from sunset until daybreak arrived and the light 
appeared and the sun rose, when it went its way, in the 
utmost vexation and rage. Upon this, therefore, I stretched 
forth my hands and loosed myself from those pieces of wood, 
in a state like that of the dead, through the severity of that 
which I had suffered from that serpent. 

I then arose, and walked along the island until I came 
to the extremity of it; when I cast a glance towards the 
sea, and beheld a ship at a distance, in the midst of the 
deep. So I took a great branch of a tree, and made a sign 
with it to the passengers, calling out to them ; and when 
they saw me, they said, We must see what this is. Perhaps 
it is a man. — Then they approached me, and heard my 
cries to them. They therefore came to me, and took me 
with them in the ship, and asked me respecting my state : 
so I informed them of all that had happened to me from 
beginning to end, and of the troubles that I had suffered ; 
whereat they wondered extremely. They clad me with 
some of their clothes, attiring me decently ; and after that, 
they put before me some provisions, and I ate until I was 
satisfied. They also gave me to drink some cool and sweet 
water, and my heart was revived, my soul became at ease, 
and I experienced great comfort. God (whose name be 
exalted) had raised me to life after my death: so I praised 
Him (exalted be his name!) for his abundant favours, and 
thanked Him. My courage was strengthened after I had 
made sure of destruction, so that it seemed to me that all 
which I then experienced was a dream. — We proceeded on 
our voyage, and the wind was fair to us by the permission 
of God (whose name be exalted!) until we came in sight of 
an island called the Island of Es-Selahit, where sandal- 
wood is abundant, and there the master anchored the ship, 
and the merchants and other passengers landed, and took 
forth their goods to sell and buy. The owner of the ship 


then looked towards me, and said to me, Hear my words, 
Thou art a stranger and poor, and hast informed us that 
thou hast suffered many horrors; I therefore desire to 
benefit thee with something that will aid thee to reach thy 
country, and thou wilt pray for me. — I replied. So be it, and 
thou shalt have my prayers. And he rejoined. Know that 
there was with us a man voyaging, whom we lost, and we 
know not whether he be living or dead, having heard no 
tidings of him. I desire to commit to thee his bales that 
thou mayest sell them in this island. Thou shalt take 
charge of them, and we will give thee something propor- 
tionate to thy trouble and thy service; and what remaineth 
of them we will take and keep until we return to the city of 
Baghdad, when we will inquire for the owner's family, and 
give to them the remainder, together with the price of that 
which shall be sold of them. Wilt thou then take charge of 
them, and land with them upon this island, and sell them 
as do the merchants? — I answered, I hear and obey thee, 
O my master; and thou art beneficent and kind. And I 
prayed for him and thanked him for that. 

He thereupon ordered the porters and sailors to land 
those goods upon the island, and to deliver them to me. 
And the clerk of the ship said, O master, what are these 
bales which the sailors and porters have brought out. and 
with the name of which of the merchants shall I mark them? 
He answered, Write upon them the name of Es-Sindibad of 
the Sea, who was with us, and was drowned [or left behind] 
at the island [of the rukh], and of whom no tidings have 
come to us; wherefore we desire that this stranger sell them, 
and take charge of the price of them, and we will give him 
somewhat of it in requital of his trouble and his sale of them. 
What shall remain we will take with us until we return to the 
city of Baghdad, when, if we find him. we will give it to 
him ; and if we find him not, we will give it to his family in 
Baghdad. — So the clerk replied. Thy words are good, and 
thy notion is excellent. And when I heard the words of 
the master, mentioning that the bales were to be inscribed 
with my name, I said within myself. By Allah, I am Es- 
Sindibad of the Sea. Then I fortified myself, and waited 
till the merchants had landed and had assembled conversing 


and consuhins: upon affairs of selling and buying, when I 
advanced to the owner of the ship, and said to him, O my 
master, dost thou know what manner of man was the owner 
of the bales which thou hast conmiitted to me that I may 
sell them? He answered me, I know not his condition; 
but he was a man of the city of Baghdad, called Es-Sindibad 
of the Sea; and we had cast anchor at one of the islands, 
where he was lost, and we have had no tidings of him to the 
present time. So upon this I uttered a great cry, and said 
to him, O master (whom may God preserve!), know that I 
am Es-Sindibad of the Sea. I was not drowned; but when 
thou anchoredst at the island, and the merchants and other 
passengers landed, I also landed with the party, taking with 
me something to eat on the shore of the island. Then I 
enjoyed myself in sitting in that place, and slumber over- 
taking me, I slept, and became immersed in sleep; after 
which I arose and found not the ship, nor found I any one 
with me. Therefore this wealth is my wealth, and these 
goods are my goods. All the merchants also who transport 
diamonds saw me when I was upon the mountain of the 
diamonds, and they will bear witness for me that I am 
Es-Sindibad of the Sea, as I informed them of my story and 
of the events that befell me with you in the ship. I informed 
them that ye had forgotten me upon the island, asleep, and 
that I arose and found not any one, and that what had 
befallen me befell me. 

And when the merchants and other passengers heard 
my words, they assembled around me; and some of them 
believed me, and others disbelieved me. But while we 
were thus talking, lo, one of the merchants, on his hearing 
me mention the valley of diamonds arose and advanced to 
me, and said to thern. Hear, O company, my words. When 
I related to you the most wonderful thing that I had seen in 
my travels, I told you that, when we cast down the slaughtered 
animals into the valley of diamonds, I casting down mine 
with the rest, as I was accustomed to do, there came up with 
my slaughtered beast a man attached to it, and ye believed 
me not, but accused me of falsehood. — They replied. Yes: 
thou didst relate to us this thing, and we believed thee not. 
And the merchant said to them. This is the man who 


attached himself to my slaughtered animal, and he gave 
me some diamonds of high price, the like of which exist 
not, rewarding me with more than would have come up 
with my slaughtered animal; and I took him as my com- 
panion until we arrived at the city of El-Basrah, whence he 
proceeded to his country, having bidden us farewell, and we 
returned to our own countries. This is he, and he informed 
us that his name was Es-Sindibad of the Sea: he told us 
likewise of the departure of the ship, and of his sitting in 
that island. And know ye that this man came not to us 
here but in order that ye might believe my words respecting 
the matter which I told you ; and all these goods are his 
property; for he informed us of them at the time of his 
meeting with us, and the truth of his assertion hath become 
manifest. — So when the master heard the words of that 
merchant, he arose and came to me, and, having looked at 
me awhile with a scrutinizing eye, said. What is the mark of 
thy goods? I answered him. Know that the mark of my 
goods is of such and such a kind. And I related to him a 
circumstance that had occurred between me and him when 
I embarked with him in the vessel from El-Basrah. He 
therefore was convinced that I was Es-Sindibad of the Sea, 
and he embraced me and saluted me, and congratulated me 
on my safety, saying to me, By Allah, O my master, thy 
story is wonderful and thy case is extraordinary ! But 
praise be to God who hath brought us together, and restored 
thy goods and thy wealth to thee ! 

Upon this, I disposed of my goods according to the 
knowledge I possessed and they procured me, during that 
voyage, great gain, whereat I rejoiced exceedingly, con- 
gratulating myself on my safety, and on the restoration of 
my wealth to me. And we ceased not to sell and buy at 
the islands until we arrived at the country of Es-Sind,° 
where likewise we sold and bought. And I beheld in that 
sea [which we navigated, namely the Sea of India,] many 
wonders and strange things that cannot be numbered nor 
calculated. Among the things that I saw there were a fish 
in the form of the cow, and a creature in the form of the 
ass; and I saw a bird that cometh forth from a sea-shell, 

^ Western India. 


and layeth its eggs and hatcheth them upon the surface of 
the water, and never cometh forth from the sea upon the 
face of the earth. — After this we continued our voyage, by 
permission of God (whose name be exalted!), and the wind 
and voyage were pleasant to us, until we arrived at El-Basrah, 
where I remained a few days. Then I came to the city of 
Baghdad, and repaired to my quarter, entered my house, 
and saluted my family and companions and friends. I re- 
joiced at my safety and my return to my country and my 
family and city and district, and I gave alms and presents, 
and clad the widows and the orphans, and collected my 
companions and friends. And I ceased not to live thus, 
eating and drinking, and sporting and making merry, eating 
well and drinking well, associating familiarly and mingling 
in society ; and I forgot all that had happened to me, and 
the distresses and horrors that I had suffered. And I gained 
during that voyage what could not be numbered nor calcu- 
lated. — Such were the most wonderful of the things that I 
beheld during that voyage; and to-morrow, if it be the will 
of God (whose name be exalted!), thou shalt come. [O 
Sindibad of the Land,] and I will relate to thee the story 
of the fourth voyage; for it is more wonderful than the 
stories of the preceding voyages. 

The Fourth \''oyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

Know, O my brothers, that when I returned to the city 
of Baghdad, and met my companions and my family and my 
friends, and was enjoying the utmost pleasure and happi- 
ness and ease, and had forgotten all that I had experienced, 
by reason of the abundance of my gains, and had become 
immersed in sport and mirth, and the society of friends and 
companions, leading the most delightful life, my wicked soul 
suggested to me to travel again to the countries of other 
people, and I felt a longing for associating with the different 
races of men, and for selling and gains. So I resolved upon 
this, and purchased precious goods, suitable to a sea-voyage, 
and, having packed up many bales, more than usual, I went 
from the city of Baghdad to the city of El-Basrah, where I 
embarked my bales in a ship, and joined myself to a party 


of the chief men of El-Basrah, and we set forth on our 
voyage. The vessel proceeded with us. confiding in the bless^ 
ing of God (whose name be exalted!), over the roaring sea 
agitated with waves, and the voyage was pleasant to us ; and 
we ceased not to proceed in this manner for a period of 
nights and days, from island to island and from sea to sea, 
until a contrary wind rose against us one day. The master 
therefore cast the anchors, and stayed the ship in the midst 
of the sea, fearing that she would sink in the midst of the 
deep. And while we were in this state, supplicating, and 
humbling ourselves to God (whose name be exalted!), there 
rose against us a great tempest, which rent the sails in strips, 
and the people were submerged with all their bales and their 
commodities and wealth. I was submerged among the rest, 
and I swam in the sea for half a day, after which I abandoned 
myself; but God (whose name be exalted!) aided me to lay 
hold upon a piece of one of the planks of the ship, and I and 
a party of the merchants got upon it. We continued sitting 
upon this plank, striking the sea with our feet, and the waves 
and the wind helping us ; and we remained in this state a day 
and a night. And on the following day, shortly before the 
mid-time between sunrise and noon, a wind rose against us, 
the sea became boisterous, the waves and the wind were 
violent, and the water cast us upon an island; and we were 
like dead men, from excess of sleeplessness and fatigue, and 
cold and hunger, and fear and thirst. 

We walked along the shores of that island, and found upon 
it abundant herbs ; so we ate some of them to stay our depart- 
ing spirits, and to sustain us ; and passed the next night upon 
the shore of the island. And when the morning came, and dif- 
fused its light and shone, we rose and walked about the 
island to the right and left, and there appeared to us a 
building in the distance. We therefore proceeded over the 
island in the direction of that building which we had seen 
from a distance, and ceased not to proceed until we stood at 
its door. And while we were standing there, lo, there came 
forth to us from that door a party of naked men, who. with- 
out speaking to us. seized us, and took us to their King, and 
he commanded us to sit. So we sat ; and they brought to us 
some food, such as we knew not, nor in our lives had we 


seen the like of it; wherefore my stomach consented not to it, 
and I ate none of it in comparison with my companions, and 
my eating so little of it was owing to the grace of God 
(whose name be exalted!), in consequence of which I have 
lived to the present time. For when my companions ate of 
that food, their minds became stupefied, and they ate like 
madmen, and their states became changed. Then the people 
brought to them cocoa-nut-oil, and gave them to drink of it, 
and anointed them with it ; and when my companions drank 
of that oil, their eyes became turned in their faces, and they 
proceeded to eat of that food contrary to their usual manner. 
Upon this, therefore, I was confounded respecting their case, 
and grieved for them, and became extremely anxious by rea- 
son of the violence of my fear for myself with regard to 
these naked men. I observed them attentively, and, lo, they 
were a Magian people, and the King of their city was a ghul ; 
and every one who arrived at their country, or whom they 
saw or met in the valley or the roads, they brought to their 
King, and they fed him with that food, and anointed him 
with that oil, in consequence of which his body became ex- 
panded, in order that he might eat largely ; and his mind was 
stupefied, his faculty of reflection was destroyed, and he be- 
came like an idiot. Then they gave him to eat and drink in 
abundance of that food and oil, until he became fat and stout, 
when they slaughtered him and roasted him, and served him 
as meat to their King. But as to the companions of the King, 
they ate the flesh of men without roasting or otherwise cook- 
ing it. So when I saw them do thus, I was in the utmost 
anguish on my own account and on account of my compan- 
ions. The latter, by reason of the excessive stupefaction of 
their minds, knew not what was done unto them, and the 
people committed them to a person who took them every day 
and went forth to pasture them on that island like cattle. 

But as for myself, I became, through the violence of fear 
and hunger, infirm and wasted in body, and my flesh dried 
upon my bones. So when they saw me in this state, they 
left me and forgot me. and not one of them remembered me, 
nor did I occur to their minds, until I contrived a stratagem 
one day, and. going forth from that place, walked along the 
island to a distance. And I saw a herdsman sitting upon 


something elevated in the midst of the sea; and I certified 
myself of him, and, lo, he was the man to whom they had 
committed my companions that he might pasture them; and 
he had with him many like them. As soon, therefore, as that 
man beheld me, he knew that I was in possession of my 
reason, and that nought of that which had afflicted my com- 
panions had afflicted me. So he made a sign to me from a 
distance, and said to me, Turn back, and go along the road 
that is on thy right hand ; thou wilt so reach the King's high- 
way. Accordingly I turned back, as this man directed me, 
and, seeing a road on my right hand, I proceeded along it, and 
ceased not to go on, sometimes running by reason of fear, and 
sometimes walking at my leisure until I had taken rest. Thus 
I continued to do until I was hidden from the eyes of the man 
who directed me to the way, and I saw him not nor did he 
see me. The sun had disappeared from me, and darkness 
approached; wherefore I sat to rest, and desired to sleep; but 
sleep came not to me that night on account of the violence of 
my fear and hunger and fatigue. And when it was midnight, 
I arose and walked on over the island, and I ceased not to 
proceed until day arrived, and the morning came and diffused 
its light and shone, and the sun rose over the tops of the high 
hills and over the low gravelly plains. I was tired and hungry 
anl thirsty: so I began to eat of the herbs and vegetables 
that were upon the island, and continued to eat of them till 
I was satiated, and my departing spirit was stayed; after 
which I arose and walked on again over the island ; and thus 
I ceased not to do all the day and the next night; whenever 
I was hungry, eating of the vegetables. 

In this manner I proceeded for the space of seven days 
with their nights: and on the morning of the eighth day, 1 
cast a glance, and beheld a faint object in the distance. So 
I went towards it, and ceased not to proceed until I came 
up to it. after sunset; and I looked at it with a scrutinizing 
eye, while I was yet distant from it, and with a fearful heart 
in consequence of what I had suffered first and after, and, 
lo, it was a party of men gathering pepper. And when I 
approached them, and they saw me, they hastened to me, 
and came to me and surrounded me on every side, saying to 
me, Who art thou, and whence hast thou come? I answered 


them, Know ye, O people, that I am a poor foreigner. And 
I informed them of my whole case, and of the horrors and 
distresses that had befallen me, and what I had suffered ,•• 
whereupon they said. By Allah, this is a wonderful thing ! 
But how didst thou escape from the blacks, and how didst 
thou pass by them in this island, when they are a numerous 
people, and eat men, and no one is safe from them, nor can 
any pass by them? — So I acquainted them with that which 
had befallen me among them, and with the manner in which 
they had taken my companions, and fed them with food of 
which I did not eat. And they congratulated me on my 
safety, and wondered at that which had befallen me. Then 
they made me sit among them until they had finished their 
work, and they brought me some nice food. I therefore ate 
of it, being hungry, and rested with them a while ; after which 
they took me and embarked with me in a vessel, and went 
to their island and their abodes. They then took me to their 
King, and I saluted him, and he welcomed me and treated 
me with honour, and inquired of me my story. So I related 
to him what I had experienced, and what had befallen me and 
happened to me from the day of my going forth from the 
city of Baghdad until I had come unto him. And the King 
wondered extremely at my story, and at the events that had 
happened to me ; he, and all who were present in his as- 
sembly. After that, he ordered me to sit with him. There- 
fore I sat; and he gave orders to bring the food, which 
accordingly they brought, and I ate of it as much as sufficed 
me, and washed my hands, and offered up thanks for the 
favour of God (whose name be exalted!), praising Him and 
glorifying Him. I then rose from the presence of the King, 
and diverted myself with a sight of his city; and, lo, it was 
a flourishing city, abounding with inhabitants and wealth, and 
with food and markets and goods, and sellers and buyers. 

So I rejoiced at my arrival at that city, and my heart was 
at ease; I became familiar with its inhabitants, and was 
magnified and honoured by them and by their King above 
the people of his dominions and the great men of his city. 
And I saw that all its great men and its small rode excellent 
and fine horses without saddles; whereat I wondered; and 
I said to the King, Wherefore, O my lord, dost thou not 


ride on a saddle; for therein is ease to the rider, and addi- 
tional power? He said, What kind of thing is a saddle? 
This is a thing that in our lives we have never seen, nor 
have we ever ridden upon it. — And I said to him, Wilt thou 
permit me to make for thee a saddle to ride upon and to 
experience the pleasure of it? He answered me. Do so. I 
therefore said to him. Furnish me with some wood. And 
he gave orders to bring me all that I required. Then I 
asked for a clever carpenter, and sat with him, and taught 
him the construction of the saddle, and how he should make 
it. Afterwards I took some wool, and teased it, and made 
felt of it; and I caused some leather to be brought, and 
covered the saddle with it, and polished it. I then attached 
its straps, and its girth: after which I brought the black- 
smith, and described to him the form of the stirrups, and he 
forged an excellent pair of stirrups; and I filed them, and 
tinned them. Then I attached fringes of silk. Having done 
this, I arose and brought one of the best of the King's 
horses, girded upon him that saddle, attached to it the stir- 
rups, bridled him, and brought him forward to the King; 
and it pleased him, and was agreeable to him. He thanked 
me, and seated himself upon it, and was greatly delighted 
with that saddle ; and he gave me a large present as a reward 
for that which I had done for him. And when his Wezir 
saw that I had made that saddle, he desired of me one like 
it. So I made for him a saddle like it. The grandees and 
dignitaries likewise desired of me saddles, and I made for 
them. I taught the carpenter the construction of the saddle; 
and the blacksmith, the mode of making stirrups ; and we 
employed ourselves in making these things, and sold them 
to the great men and masters. Thus I collected abundant 
wealth, and became in high estimation with them, and they 
loved me exceedingly. 

I continued to enjoy a high rank with the King and his 
attendants and the great men of the country and the lords 
of the state, until I sat one day with the King, in the utmost 
happiness and honour; and while I was sitting, the King 
said to me, Know, O thou, that thou hast become magnified 
and honoured among us, and hast become one of us, and we 
cannot part with thee, nor can we suffer thee to depart from 


our city; and I desire of thee that thou obey me in an affair, 
and reject not that which I shall say. So I said to him, 
And what dost thou desire of me, O King? For I will not 
reject that which thou shalt say, since thou hast shewn 
favour and kindness and beneficence to me, and (praise be 
to God!) I have become one of thy servants. — And he an- 
swered, I desire to marry thee among us to a beautiful, lovely, 
elegant wife, possessed of wealth and loveliness, and thou 
shalt become a dweller with us, and I will lodge thee by me 
in my palace: therefore oppose me not, nor reject what I 
say. And when I heard the words of the King, I was abashed 
at him, and was silent, returning him no answer, by reason 
of the exceeding bash fulness with which I regarded him. 
So he said, Wherefore dost thou not reply to me, O my son? 
And I answered him, O my master, it is thine to command, 

King of the age ! And upon this he sent immediately and 
caused the Kadi and the witnesses to come, and married me 
forthwith to a woman of noble rank, of high lineage, possess- 
ing abundant wealth and fortune, of great origin, of sur- 
prising loveliness and beauty, owner of dwellings and pos- 
sessions and buildings. Then he gave me a great, handsome 
house, standing alone, and he gave me servants and other 
dependents, and assigned me supplies and salaries. Thus I 
became in a state of the utmost ease and joy and happiness, 
forgetting all the fatigue and affliction and adversity that had 
happened to me; and I said within myself, When I set forth 
on my voyage to my country, I will take her with me. But 
every event that is predestined to happen to man must in- 
evitably take place, and no one knoweth what wiirbefall Tiim. 

1 loved her and she loved me with a great affection, concord 
existed between me and her, and we lived in a most delight- 
ful manner, and most comfortable abode, and ceased not to 
enjoy this state for a length of time. 

Then God (whose name be exalted!) caused to die the 
wife of my neighbour, and he was a companion of mine. So 
I went in to him to console him for the loss of his wife, and 
beheld him in a most evil state, anxious, weary in soul and 
heart ; and upon this I consoled him and comforted him, 
saying to him, Mourn not for thy wife. God will happily 
compensate thee by giving thee one better than she, and thy 


life will be long if it be the will of God, whose name be 
exalted ! — But he wept violently, and said to me, O my com- 
panion, how can I marry another after her, or how can God 
compensate me by giving me a better than she, when but one 
day remaineth of my life ? So I replied, O my brother, return 
to thy reason, and do not announce thine own death ; for thou 
art well, in prosperity and health. But he said to me, O my 
companion, by thy life, to-morrow thou wilt lose me, and 
never in thy life wilt thou see me again. — And how so? said I. 
He answered me. This day they will bury my wife, and they 
will bury me with her in the sepulchre ; for it is our custom in 
our country, when the wife dieth, to bury with her her hus- 
band alive ; and when the husband dieth, they bury with him 
his wife alive; that neither of them may enjoy life after the 
other. I therefore said to him, By Allah, this custom is ex- 
ceedingly vile, and none can endure it ! — And while we were 
thus conversing, lo, most of the people of the city came, and 
proceeded to console my companion for the loss of his wife 
and for himself. They began to prepare her body for burial 
according to their custom, brought a bier, and carried the 
woman in it, with all her apparel and ornaments and 
wealth, taking the husband with them; and they went forth 
with them to the outside of the city, and came to a place in 
the side of a mountain by the sea. They advanced to a spot 
there, and lifted up from it a great stone, and there ap- 
peared, beneath the place of this, a margin of stone, like the 
margin of a well. Into this they threw down that woman; 
and, lo, it was a great pit beneath the mountain. Then they 
brought the man, tied him beneath his bosom by a rope of 
fibres of the palm-tree, and let him down into the pit. They 
also let down to him a great jug of sweet water, and seven 
cakes of bread; and when they had let him down, he loosed 
himself from the rope, and they drew it up, and covered the 
mouth of the pit with that great stone as it was before, and 
went their ways, leaving my companion with his wife in 
the pit. — So I said within myself. By Allah, this death is 
more grievous than the first death ! I then went to their King, 
and said to him, O my lord, how is it that ye bury the living 
with the dead in your country ? And he answered me. Know 
that this is our custom in our country: when the husband 


dieth, we bury with him his wife; and when the wife dieth, 
we bury with her her husband alive ; that we may not sep- 
arate them in life nor in death; and this custom we have re- 
ceived from our forefathers. And I said, O King of the 
age, and in like manner the foreigner like me, when his wife 
dieth among you do ye with him as ye have done with this 
man ? He answered me, Yes : we bury him with her, and 
do with him as thou hast seen. And when I heard these 
words from him, my gall-bladder almost burst by reason of 
the violence of my grief and mourning for myself; my mind 
was stupefied, and I became fearful lest my wife should die 
before me and they should bury me alive with her. After- 
wards, however, I comforted myself, and said. Perhaps I 
shall die before her: and no one know'eth which will pre- 
cede and which will follow. And I proceeded to beguile 
myself with occupations. 

And but a short time had elapsed after that when my 
wife fell sick, and she remained so a few days, and died. 
So the greater number of the people assembled to console 
me, and to console her family for her death ; and the King 
also came to console me for the loss of her, as was their 
custom. Then they brought for her a woman to wash her, 
and they washed her, and decked her with the richest of her 
apparel, and ornaments of gold, and necklaces and jewels. 
And when they had attired my wife, and put her in the bier, 
and carried her and gone with her to that mountain, and 
lifted up the stone from the mouth of the pit, and cast her 
into it_, all my companions, and the family of my wife, ad- 
vanced to bid me farewell and to console me for the loss 
of my life. I was crying out among them, I am a foreigner, 
and am unable to endure your custom ! But they would 
not hear what I said, nor pay any regard to my words. 
They laid hold upon me and bound me by force, tying with 
me seven cakes of bread and a jug of sweet water, according 
to their custom, and let me down into that pit. And, lo, it 
was a great cavern beneath that mountain. They said to 
me. Loose thyself from the ropes. But I would not loose 
myself. So they threw the ropes down upon me, and covered 
the mouth of the pit with the great stone that was upon it, 
and went their ways. I beheld in that cavern many dead 


bodies, and their smell was putrid and abominable; and I 
blamed myself for that which I had done, saying, By Allah, 
I deserve all that happeneth to me and befalleth me ! I knew 
not night from day; and I sustained myself with little food, 
not eating until hunger almost killed me, nor drinking until 
my thirst became violent, fearing the exhaustion of the food 
and water that I had with me. I said. There is no strength 
nor power but in God, the High, the Great ! What tempted 
me to marry in this city ? And every time that I say, I have 
escaped from a calamity, I fall into a calamity that is more 
mighty than the preceding one ! By Allah, my dying this 
death is unfortunate ! Would that I had been drowned in 
the sea, or had died upon the mountains ! It had been better 
for me than this evil death ! — And I continued in this man- 
ner, blaming myself. I laid myself down upon the bones 
of the dead, begging aid of God (whose name be exalted!), 
and wished for death, but I found it not, by reason of the 
severity of my sufferings. Thus I remained until hunger 
burned my stomach, and thirst inflamed me ; when I sat, and 
felt for the bread, and ate a little of it, and I swallowed 
after it a little water. Then I rose and stood up, and walked 
about the sides of the cavern, and I found that it was spa- 
cious sideways, and with vacant cavities ; but upon its bot- 
tom were numerous dead bodies, and rotten bones, that had 
lain there from old times. And upon this I made for myself 
a place in the side of the cavern, remote from the fresh 
corpses, and there I slept. 

At length my provision became greatly diminished, little 
remaining with me. During each day, or in more than a 
day, I had eaten but once, and drunk one draught, fearing 
the exhaustion of the water and food that was with me 
before my death; and I ceased not to do this until I was 
sitting one day, and while I sat, meditating upon my case, 
thinking what I should do when my food and water were 
exhausted, lo. the mass of rock was removed from its place, 
and the light beamed down upon me. So I said. What can 
be the matter? And, behold, the people were standing at 
the top of the pit, and they let down a dead man with his 
wife with him alive, and she was weeping and crying out for 
herself; and they let down with her a large quantity of 


food and water. I saw the woman; but she saw not me; 
and they covered the mouth of the pit with the stone, and 
went their ways. Then I arose, and, taking in my hand a 
long bone of a dead man, I went to the woman, and struck 
her upon the middle of the head; whereupon she fell down 
senseless; and I struck her a second and a third time, and 
she died. So I took her bread and what else she had, and 
I found upon her abundance of ornaments and apparel, neck- 
laces and jewels and minerals. And having taken the water 
and food that was with her, I sat in a place that I had pre- 
pared in a side of the cavern, wherein to sleep, and pro- 
ceeded to eat a little of that food, as much only as would 
sustain me, lest it should be exhausted quickly, and I should 
die of hunger and thirst. 

I remained in that cavern a length of time; and when- 
ever they buried a corpse, I killed the person who was 
buried with it alive, and took that person's food and drink, 
to subsist upon it, until I was sleeping one day, and I awoke 
from my sleep, and heard something make a noise in a side 
of the cavern. So I said, What can this be? I then arose 
and walked towards it, taking with me a long bone of a dead 
man ; and when it was sensible of my presence, it ran away, 
and fled from me ; and, lo, it was a wild beast. But I fol- 
lowed it to the upper part of the cavern, and thereupon a 
light appeared to me from a small spot, like a star. Some- 
times it appeared to me, and sometimes it was concealed 
from me. Therefore when I saw it, I advanced towards it; 
and the nearer I approached to it, the larger did the light 
from it appear to me. So upon this I was convinced that 
it was a hole in that cavern, communicating with the open 
country; and I said within myself, There must be some 
cause for this: either it is a second mouth, like that from 
which they let me down, or it is a fissure in tliis place. I 
meditated in my mind a while, and advanced towards the 
light ; and, lo, it was a perforation in the back of that 
mountain, which the wild beasts had made, and through 
which they entered this place ; and they ate of the dead 
Lodies until they were satiated, and went forth through this 
perforation. When I saw it, therefore, my mind was quieted, 
my soul was tranquillized, and my heart was at ease; I 


made sure of life after death, and became as in a dream. 
Then I managed to force my way through that perforation, 
and found myself on the shore of the sea, upon a great 
mountain, which formed a barrier between the sea on the 
one side, and the island and city on the other, and to which 
no one could gain access. So I praised God (whose name 
be exalted!), and thanked Him, and rejoiced exceedingly, 
and my heart was strengthened. I then returned through 
that perforation into the cavern, and removed all the food 
and water that was in it, that I had spared. I also took 
the clothes of the dead, and clad myself in some of them, 
in addition to those I had on me ; and I took abundance of 
the things that were on the dead, consisting of varieties of 
necklaces and jewels, long necklaces of pearls, ornaments 
of silver ancl gold set with various minerals, and rarities; 
and, having tied up some clothes of the dead in apparel of 
my own, I went forth from the perforation to the back of 
the mountain, and stood upon the shore of the sea. Every 
day I entered the cavern, and explored it ; and whenever 
they buried a person alive, I took the food and water, and 
killed that person, whether male or female ; after which I 
went forth from the perforation, and sat upon the shore of 
the sea, to wait for relief from God (whose name be ex- 
alted !), by means of a ship passing by me. And I removed 
from that cavern all the ornaments that I found, and tied 
them up in the clothes of the dead. 

I ceased not to remain in this state for a length of time ; 
and afterwards, as I was sitting one day, upon the shore of 
the sea, meditating upon my case, lo, a vessel passed along 
in the midst of the roaring sea agitated with waves. So I 
took in my hand a white garment, of the clothes of the 
dead, and tied it to a staff, and ran with it along the sea- 
shore, making a sign to the people with that garment, until 
they happened to look, and saw me upon the summit of 
the mountain. They therefore approached me, and heard 
my voice, and sent to me a boat in which was a party of 
men from the ship ; and when they drew near to me they 
said to me, Who art thou, and what is the reason of thy 
sitting in this place, and how didst thou arrive at this moun- 
tain ; for in our lives we have never seen any one who hath 


come unto it? So I answered them, I am a merchant. The 
vessel that I was in was wrecked, and I got upon a plank, 
together with my things, and God facilitated my landing at 
this place, with my things, by means of my exertion and my 
skill, after severe toil. They therefore took me with them 
in the boat, and embarked all that I had taken from the 
cavern, tied up in the garments and grave-clothes, and they 
proceeded with me until they took me up into the ship, to 
the master, and all my things with me. And the master 
said to me, O man, how didst thou arrive at this place, 
which is a great mountain, with a great city behind it? All 
my life I have been accustomed to navigate this sea, and to 
pass by this mountain ; but have never seen any thing there 
except the wild beasts and the birds. — I answered him, I 
am a merchant. I was in a great ship, and it was wrecked, 
and all my merchandise, consisting of these stuffs and clothes 
which thou seest, was submerged; but I placed it upon a 
great plank, one of the planks of the ship, and destiny and 
fortune aided me, so that I landed upon this mountain, 
where I waited for some one to pass by and take me 
with him. 

And I acquainted them not with the events that had 
befallen me in the city, or in the cavern; fearing that there 
might be with them in the ship some one from that city. 
Then I took forth and presented to the owner of the ship 
a considerable portion of my property, saying to him, O my 
master, thou hast been the means of my escape from this 
mountain : therefore receive from me this as a recompense 
for the favour which thou hast done to me. But he would 
not accept it from me ; and he said to me, We take nothing 
from any one ; and when we behold a shipwrecked person 
on the shore of the sea or on an island, we take him with 
us, and feed him and give him to drink; and if he be naked, 
we clothe him ; and when we arrive at the port of safety, 
we give him something of our property as a present, and 
act towards him with kindness and favour for the sake of 
God, whose name be exalted ! — So upon this I offered up 
prayers for the prolongation of his life. 

We ceased not to proceed on our voyage from island to 
island and from sea to sea. I hoped to escape, and was 


rejoiced at my safety; but every time that I reflected upon 
my abode in the cavern with my wife, my reason left me. 
We pursued our course until we arrived at the Island of 
the Bell, when we proceeded to the island of Kela in six 
days. Then we came to the kingdom of Kela, which is 
adjacent to India, and in it are a mine of lead, and places 
where the Indian cane groweth, and excellent camphor; 
and its King is a King of great dignity, whose dominion 
extendcth over the Island of the Bell. In it is a city called 
the City of the Bell, which is two days' journey in extent. 
— At length, by the providence of God, we arrived in safety 
at the city of El-Basrah, where I landed, and remained a 
few days ; after which I came to the city of Baghdad, and 
to my quarter, and entered my house, met my family and my 
companions, and made inquiries respecting them; and they 
rejoiced at my safety, and congratulated me. I stored all 
the commodities that I had brought with me in my maga- 
zines, gave alms and presents, and clad the orphans and the 
widows; and I became in a state of the utmost joy and 
happiness, and returned to my former habit of associating 
with familiars and companions and brothers, and indulging 
in sport and merriment. — Such were the most wonderful of 
the events that happened to me in the course of the fourth 
voyage. But, O my brother, [O Sindibad of the Land.] 
sup thou with me, and observe thy custom by coming to 
me to-morrow, when I will inform thee what happened 
to me and what befell me during the fifth voyage; for it 
was more wonderful and extraordinary than the preceding 

The Fifth Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

Know, O my brothers, that when I returned from the 
fourth voyage, and became immersed in sport and merri- 
ment and joy, and had forgotten all that I had experienced, 
and what had befallen me, and what I had suffered, by 
reason of my excessive joy at the gain and profit and bene- 
fits that I had obtained, my mind again suggested to me to 
travel, and to divert myself with the sight of the countries 
of other people,, and the islands. So I arose and meditated 


upon that subject, and bought precious goods, suited for a 
sea-voyage. I packed up the bales, and departed from the 
city of Baghdad to the city of El-Basrah ; and, walking along 
the bank of the river, I saw a great, handsome, lofty vessel, 
and it pleased me; wherefore I purchased it. Its apparatus 
was new, and I hired for it a master and sailors, over whom 
I set my black slaves and my pages as superintendents, and 
I embarked in it my bales. And there came to me a com- 
pany of merchants, who also embarked their bales in it, and 
paid me hire. We set sail in the utmost joy and happiness, 
and rejoicing in the prospect of safety and gain, and ceased 
not to pursue our voyage from island to island and from sea 
to sea, diverting ourselves with viewing the islands and 
towns, and landing at them and selling and buying. Thus 
we continued to do until we arrived one day at a large 
island, destitute of inhabitants. There was no person upon 
it: it was deserted and desolate; but on it was an enormous 
white dome, of great bulk; and we landed to amuse ourselves 
with a sight of it, and, lo, it was a great egg of a rukh. 
Now when the merchants had landed, and were diverting 
themselves with viewing it, not knowing that it was the egg 
of a rukh, they struck it with stones ; whereupon it broke, 
and there poured down from it a great quantity of liquid, 
and the young rukh appeared within it. So they pulled 
it and drew it forth from the shell, and killed it, and took 
from it abundance of meat. I was then in the ship, and 
knew not of it, and they acquainted me not with that which 
they did. But in the mean time one of the passengers said 
to me, O my master, arise and divert thyself with the sight 
of this egg which we imagined to be a dome. I therefore 
arose to take a view of it, and found the merchants striking 
the egg. I called out to them. Do not this deed; for the 
rukh will come and demolish our ship, and destroy us. But 
they would not hear my words. 

And while they were doing as above related, behold, the 
sun became concealed from us, and the day grew dark, and 
there came over us a cloud by which the sky was obscured. 
So we raised our heads to see what had intervened between 
us and the sun, and saw that the wings of the rukh were 
what veiled from us the sun's light, so that the sky was 


darkened. And when the rukh came, and beheld its egg 
broken, it cried out at us; whereupon its mate, the female 
bird, came to it, and they flew in circles over the ship, cry- 
ing out at us with a voice more vehement than thunder. 
So I called out to the master and the sailors, and said to 
them. Push off the vessel, and seek safety before we perish. 
The master therefore hastened, and, the merchants having 
embarked, he loosed the ship, and we departed from that 
island. And when the rukhs saw that we had put fo'-th to 
sea, they absented themselves from us for a while. We 
proceeded, and made speed, desiring to escape from them, 
and to quit their country; but, lo, they had followed us, 
and they now approached us, each of them having in its 
claws a huge mass of rock from a mountain; and the male 
bird threw the rock that he had brought upon us. The 
master, however, steered away the ship, and the mass of 
rock missed her by a little space. It descended into the 
sea by the ship, and the ship went up with us, and down, by 
reason of the mighty plunging of the rock, and we beheld 
the bottom of the sea in consequence of its vehement force. 
Then the mate of the male rukh threw upon us the rock 
that she had brought, which was smaller than the former 
one, and, as destiny had ordained, it fell upon the stern of 
the ship, and crushed it, making the rudder fly into twenty 
pieces, and all that was in the ship became submerged in 
the sea. 

I strove to save myself, impelled by the sweetness of life, 
and God (whose name be exalted!) placed within my reach 
one of the planks of the ship; so I caught hold of it. and, 
having got upon it, began to row upon it with my feet, and 
the wind and the waves helped me forward. The vessel 
had sunk near an island in the midst of the sea, and destiny 
cast me, by permission of God (whose name be exalted!), 
to that island. I therefore landed upon it ; but I was at 
my last breath, and in the state of the dead, from the 
violence of the fatigue and distress and hunger and thirst 
that I had suffered. I then threw myself down upon the 
shore of the sea, and remained lying there a while, until my 
soul felt at ease, and my heart was tranquillized, when I 
walked along the island, and saw that it resembled one of 


the gardens of Paradise. Its trees bore ripe fruits, its rivers 
were flowing, and its birds were warbling the praises of Him 
to whom belongeth might and permanence. Upon that 
island was an abundance of trees and fruits, with varieties 
of flowers. So I ate of the fruits until I was satiated, and I 
drank of those rivers until I was satisfied with drink; and I 
praised God (whose name be exalted!) for this, and glorified 
Him. I then remained sitting upon the island till evening 
came, and night approached ; whereupon I rose ; but I was 
like a slain man, by reason of the fatigue and fear that I had 
experienced ; and I heard not in that island a voice, nor did 
I see in it any person. 

I slept there without interruption until the morning, and 
then rose and stood up. and walked among the trees ; and 
I saw a streamlet, by which sat an old man, a comely 
person, who w'as clad from the waist downwards with a 
covering made of the leaves of trees. So I said within 
myself. Perhaps this old man hath landed upon this island 
and is one of the shipwrecked persons with whom the vessel 
fell to pieces. I then approached him and saluted him, and 
he returned the salutation by a sign, without speaking; and 
I said to him, O sheykh, what is the reason of thy sitting in 
this place? Whereupon he shook his head, and sighed, and 
made a sign to me with his hand, as though he would say. 
Carry me upon thy neck, and transport me from this place 
to the other side of the streamlet. I therefore said within 
myself, I will act kindly with this person, and transport him 
to this place to which he desireth to go: perhaps I shall 
obtain for it a reward [in heaven]. Accordingly I advanced 
to him, and took him upon my shoulders, and conveyed 
him to the place that he had indicated to me; when I said 
to him. Descend at thine ease. But he descended not from 
my shoulders. He had twisted his legs round my neck, and 
I looked at them, and I saw that they were like the hide of 
the buffalo in blackness and roughness. So I was frightened 
at him, and desired to throw him down from my shoulders ; 
but he pressed upon my neck with his feet, and squeezed 
my throat, so that the world became black before my face, 
and I was unconscious of my existence, falling upon the 
ground in a fit, like one dead. He then raised his legs, and 



beat me upon my back and mj' shoulders; and I suffered 
violent pain ; wherefore I rose with him. He still kept his 
seat upon my shoulders, and I had become fatigued with 
bearing him; and he made a sign to me that I should go in 
among the trees, to the best of the fruits. When I disobeyed 
him, he inflicted upon me, with his feet, blows more violent 
than those of whips ; and he ceased not to direct me with 
his hand to every place to which he desired to go, and to 
that place I went with him. If I loitered, or went leisurely, 
he beat me ; and I was as a captive to him. We went into 
the midst of the island, among the trees, and he descended 
not from my shoulders by night nor by day: when he 
desired to sleep, he would wind his legs round my neck, 
and sleep a little, and then he would arise and beat me, 
whereupon I would arise with him quickly, unable to dis- 
obey him, by reason of the severity of that which I suffered 
from him ; and I blamed myself for having taken him up, 
and having had pity on him. I continued with him in this 
condition, enduring the most violent fatigue, and said within 
myself, I did a good act unto this person, and it hath 
become an evil to myself! By Allah, I will never more do 
good unto any one as long as I live ! — I begged of God 
(whose name be exalted!), at every period and in every 
hour, that I might die, in consequence of the excessive 
fatigue and distress that I suffered. 

Thus I remained for a length of time, until I carried him 
one day to a place in the island where I found an abundance 
of pumpkins, many of which were dry. Upon this I took 
a large one that was dry, and, having opened its upper 
extremity, and cleansed it, I went with it to a grape-vine, 
and filled it with the juice of the grapes. I then stopped up 
the aperture, and put it in the sun, and left it for some days, 
until it had become pure wine ; and every day I used to 
drink of it, to help myself to endure the fatigue that I under- 
went with that obstinate devil ; for whenever I was intoxi- 
cated by it, my energy was strengthened. So, seeing me 
one day drinking, he made a sign to me with his hand, as 
though he would say. What is this? And I answered him. 
This is something agreeable, that invigorateth the heart, and 
dilatcth the mind. Then I ran with him, and danced among 


the trees; I was exhilarated by intoxication, and clapped 
my hands, and sang, and was joyful. Therefore when he 
beheld me in this state, he made a sign to me to hand him 
the pumpkin, that he might drink from it; and I feared him, 
and gave it to him ; whereupon he drank what remained in 
it, and threw it upon the ground, and, being moved with 
merriment, began to shake upon my shoulders. He then 
became intoxicated, and drowned in intoxication; all his 
limbs, and the muscles of his sides, became relaxed, and he 
began to lean from side to side upon my shoulders. So 
when I knew that he was drunk, and that he was unconscious 
of existence, I put my hand to his feet, and loosed them 
from my neck. Then I stooped with him, and sat down, 
and threw him upon the ground. I scarcely believed that I 
had liberated myself and escaped from the state in which I 
had been ; but I feared him, lest he should arise from his 
intoxication, and torment me. I therefore took a great mass 
of stone from among the trees, and, coming to him, struck 
him upon his head as he lay asleep, so that his flesh became 
mingled with his blood, and he was killed. May no mercy 
of God be on him ! 

After that, I walked about the island, with a happy mind, 
and came to the place where I was before, on the shore of 
the sea. And I remained upon that island eating of its 
fruits, and drinking of the water of its rivers, for a length of 
time, and watching to see some vessel passing by me, until 
I was sitting one day, reflecting upon the events that had 
befallen me and happened to me, and I said within myself, 
I wonder if God will preserve me in safety, and if I shall 
return to my country, and meet my family and my com- 
panions. And, lo, a vessel approached from the midst of 
the roaring sea agitated with waves, and it ceased not in 
its course until it anchored at that island ; whereupon the 
passengers landed there. So I walked towards them ; and 
when they beheld me, they all quickly approached me and 
assembled around me, inquiring respecting my state, and the 
cause of my coming to that island. I therefore acquainted 
them with my case, and with the events that had befallen 
me; whereat they wondered extremely. And they said to 
me, This man who rode upon thy shoulders is called the 


Old Man of the Sea, and no one ever was beneath his limbs 
and escaped from him except thee; and praise be to God 
for thy safety ! Then they brought me some food, and I 
ate until I was satisfied; and they gave me some clothing, 
which I put on, covering myself decently. After this, they 
took me with them in the ship ; and when we had proceeded 
days and nights, destiny drove us to a city of lofty buildings, 
all the houses of which overlooked the sea. That city is 
called the City of the Apes; and when the night cometh, 
the people who reside in it go forth from the doors that 
open upon the sea, and, embarking in boats and ships, pass 
the night upon the sea, in their fear of the apes, lest they 
should come down upon them in the night from the 

I landed to divert myself in this city, and the ship set 
sail without my knowledge. So I repented of my having 
landed there, remembering my companions, and what had 
befallen them from the apes, first and afterwards; and I 
sat weeping and mourning. And thereupon a man of the 
inhabitants of the city advanced to me and said to me, O 
my master, it seemeth that thou art a stranger in this country. 
I therefore replied. Yes : I am a stranger, and a poor man. 
I was in a ship which anchored at this city, and I landed 
from it to divert myself in the city, and returned, but saw 
not the ship. — And he said, Arise and come with us, and 
embark in the boat; for if thou remain in the city during 
the night, the apes will destroy thee. So I replied, I hear 
and obey. I arose immediately, and embarked with the 
people in the boat, and they pushed it off from the land 
until they had propelled it from the shore of the sea to the 
distance of a mile. They passed the night, and I with them; 
and when the morning came, they returned in the boat to 
the city, and landed, and each of them went to his occupation. 
Such hath been always their custom, every night ; and to 
every one of them who remaineth behind in the city during 
the night, the apes come, and they destroy him. In the 
day, the apes go forth from the city, and eat of the fruits 
in the gardens, and sleep in the mountains until the evening, 
when they return to the city. And this city is in the furthest 
parts of the country of the blacks. — Among the most won- 


dcrful of the events that happened to me in the treatment 
that I met with from its inhabitants, was this. A person of 
the party with whom I passed the night said to me, O my 
master, thou art a stranger in this country. Art thou skilled 
in any art with which thou mayest occupy thyself? — And I 
answered him. No, by Allah, O my brother : I am acquainted 
with no art, nor do I know how to make any thing. I was 
a merchant, a person of wealth and fortune, and I had a 
ship, my own property, laden with abundant wealth and 
goods; but it was w^rccked in the sea, and all that was in it 
sank, and I escaped not drowning but by the permission of 
God ; for He provided me with a piece of a plank, upon 
which I placed myself; and it was the means of my escape 
from drowning. — And upon this the man arose and brought 
me a cotton bag, and said to me, Take this bag, and fill it 
with pebbles from this city, and go forth with a party of the 
inhabitants. I will associate thee with them, and give them 
a charge respecting thee, and do thou as they shall do. Per- 
haps thou wilt accomplish that by means of which thou 
wilt be assisted to make thy voyage, and to return to thy 

Then that man took me and led me forth from the city, 
and I picked up small pebbles, with which I filled that bag. 
And, lo, a party of men came out from the city, and he 
associated me with them, giving them a charge respecting 
me, and saying to them, This is a stranger ; so take him 
with you, and teach him the mode of gathering. Perhaps 
he may gain the means of subsistence, and ye will obtain 
[from God] a reward and recompense. — And they replied. 
We hear and obey. They welcomed me, and took me with 
them, and proceeded, each of them having a bag like mine, 
filled with pebbles ; and we ceased not to pursue our way 
until we arrived at a wide valley, wherein were many lofty 
trees, which no one could climb. In that valley were also 
many apes, which, when they saw us, fled from us, and 
ascended those trees. Then the men began to pelt the 
apes with the stones that they had with them in the bags; 
upon which the apes began to pluck off the fruits of those 
trees, and to throw them at the men ; and I looked at the 
fruits which the apes threw down, and, lo, they were cocoa- 


nuts. Therefore when I beheld the party do thus, I chose 
a great tree, upon which were many apes, and, advancing to 
it, proceeded to pelt those apes with stones ; and they broke 
off nuts from the tree and threw them at me. So I collected 
them as the rest of the party did, and the stones were not 
exhausted from my bag until I had collected a great quan- 
tity. And when the party had ended this work, they gathered 
together all that was with them, and each of them carried 
off as many of the nuts as he could. We then returned to 
the city during the remainder of the day, and I went to the 
man, my companion, who had associated me with the party, 
and gave him all that I had collected, thanking him for his 
kindness. But he said to me. Take these and sell them, 
and make use of the price. And afterwards he gave me the 
key of a place in his house, and said to me. Put here these 
nuts that thou hast remaining with thee, and go forth every 
day with the party as thou hast done this day; and of what 
thou bringest, separate the bad, and sell them, and make use 
of their price; and the rest keep in thy possession in this 
place. Perhaps thou wilt accumulate of them what will aid 
thee to make thy voyage. — So I replied. Thy reward is due 
from God, whose name be exalted ! I did as he told me, 
and continued every day to fill the bag with stones, and to 
go forth with the people, and do as they did. They used to 
commend me, one to another, and to guide me to the tree 
upon which was abundance of fruit; and I ceased not to 
lead this life for a length of time, so that I collected a great 
quantity of good cocoa-nuts, and I sold a great quantity, the 
price of which became a large sum in my possession. I 
bought every thing that I saw and that pleased me, my time 
,was pleasant, and my good fortune increased throughout the 
whole city. 

I remained in this state for some time ; after which, as I 
was standing by the seaside, lo, a vessel arrived at that city, 
and cast anchor by the shore. In it were merchants, with 
their goods, and they proceeded to sell and buy, and to 
exchange their goods for cocoa-nuts and other things. So I 
went to my companion, informed him of the ship that had 
arrived, and told him that I desired to make the voyage to 
my country. And he replied. It is thine to determine, I 


therefore bade him farewell, and thanked him for his kind- 
nees to me. Then I went to the ship, and, accosting the 
master, engaged with him for my passage, and embarked in 
that ship the cocoa-nuts and other things that I had with me, 
after which they set sail that same day. We continued our 
course from island to island and from sea to sea, and at 
every island at which we cast anchor I sold some of those 
cocoa-nuts, and exchanged; and God compensated me with 
more than I had before possessed and lost. We passed by an 
island in which are cinnamon and pepper, and some persons 
told us that they had seen, upon every bunch of pepper, a 
large leaf that shadeth it and wardeth from it the rain when- 
ever it raineth ; and when the rain ceaseth to fall upon it, the 
leaf turneth over from the bunch, and hangeth down by its 
side. From that island I took with me a large quantity 
of pepper and cinnamon, in exchange for cocoa-nuts. We 
passed also by the Island of El-'Asirat, which is that wherein 
is the Kamari aloes-wood. And after that, we passed by 
another island, the extent of which is five days' journey, and 
in it is the Sanfi aloes-wood, which is superior to the 
Kamari ; but the inhabitants of this island are worse in con- 
dition and religion than the inhabitants of the island of the 
Kamari aloes-wood ; for they love depravity and the drinking 
of wines, and know not the call to prayer, nor the act of 
prayer. And we came after that to the pearl-fisheries; where- 
upon I gave to the divers some cocoa-nuts, and said to them, 
Dive for my luck and lot. Accordingly they dived in the bay 
there, and brought up a great number of large and valuable 
pearls ; and they said to me, O my master, by Allah, thy 
fortune is good ! So I took up into the ship what they had 
Brought up for me, and we proceeded, relying on the blessing 
of God (whose name be exalted !), and continued our voyage 
until we arrived at El-Basrah, where I landed, and remained 
a short time. I then went thence to the city of Baghdad, 
entered my quarter, came to my house, and saluted my 
family and companions, who congratulated me on my safety. 
I stored all the goods and commodities that I had brought 
with me, clothed the orphans and the widows, bestowed alms 
and gifts, and made presents to my family and my com- 
panions and my friends. God had compensated me with 


four times as much as I had lost, and I forgot what had 
happened to me, and the fatigue that I had suffered, by 
reason of the abundance of my gain and profits, and resumed 
my first habits of famihar intercourse and fellowship. — Such 
were the most wonderful things that happened to me in the 
course of the fifth voyage: but sup ye, and to-morrow come 
again, and I will relate to you the events of the sixth voyage ; 
for it was more wonderful than this. 

The Sixth Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

Know, O my brothers and my friends and my companions, 
that when I returned from that fifth voyage, and forgot what 
I had suffered, by reason of sport and merriment and enjoy- 
ment and gayety, and was in a state of the utmost joy and 
happiness, I continued thus until I was sitting one day in 
exceeding delight and happiness and gayety; and while I 
sat, lo, a party of merchants came to me, bearing the marks 
of travel. And upon this I remembered the days of my 
return from travel, and my joy at meeting my family and 
companions and friends, and at entering my country; and 
my soul longed again for travel and commerce. So I deter- 
mined to set forth. I bought for myself precious, sumptuous 
goods, suitable for the sea, packed up my bales, and went 
from the city of Baghdad to the city of El-Basrah, where I 
beheld a large vessel, in which were merchants and great 
men, and with them were precious goods. I therefore 
embarked my bales with them in this ship, and we departed 
in safety from the city of El-Basrah. We continued our 
voyage from place to place and from city to city, selling 
and buying, and diverting ourselves with viewing different 
countries. Fortune and the voyage were pleasant to us, and 
we gained our subsistence, until we were proceeding one 
day, and, lo, the master of the ship vociferated and called 
out, threw down his turban, slapped his face, plucked his 
beard, and fell down in the hold of the ship by reason of the 
violence of his grief and rage. So all the merchants and 
other passengers came together to him and said to him, O 
master, what is the matter? And he answered them. Know, 
O company, that we have wandered from our course, having 


passed forth from the sea in which we were, and entered a 
sea of which we know not the routes ; and if God appoint 
not for us some means of effecting our escape from this 
sea, we all perish: therefore pray to God (whose name be 
exalted!) that He may save us from this case. Then the 
master arose and ascended the mast, and desired to loose 
the sails ; but the wind became violent upon the ship, and 
drove her back, and her rudder broke near a lofty mountain; 
whereupon the master descended from the mast, and said, 
There is no strength nor power but in God, the High, the 
Great ! No one is able to prevent what is predestined ! By 
Allah, we have fallen into a great peril, and there remaineth 
to us no way of safety or escape from it! — So all the 
passengers wept for themselves : they bade one another fare- 
well, because of the expiration of their lives, and their 
hope was cut off. The vessel drove upon that mountain, 
and went to pieces ; its planks were scattered, and all that 
was in it was submerged ; the merchants fell into the sea, 
and some of them were drowned, and some caught hold upon 
that mountain, and landed upon it. 

I was of the number of those who landed upon the 
mountain; and, lo, within it was a large island. By it were 
many vessels broken in pieces, and upon it were numerous 
goods, on the shore of the sea, of the things thrown up by 
the sea from the ships that had been wrecked, and the 
passengers of which had been drowned. Upon it was an 
abundance, that confounded the reason and the mind, of com- 
modities and wealth that the sea cast upon its shores. I 
ascended to the upper part of the island, and walked about 
it, and I beheld in the midst of it a stream of sweet water, 
flowing forth from beneath the nearest part of the mountain, 
and entering at the furthest part of it, on the opposite side 
[of the valley]. Then all the other passengers went over that 
mountain to [the interior of] the island, and dispersed 
themselves about it, and their reason was confounded at that 
which they beheld. They became like madmen in conse- 
quence of what they saw upon the island, of commodities 
and wealth lying on the shore of the sea. I beheld also in 
the midst of the above-mentioned stream an abundance of 
various kinds of jewels and minerals, with jacinths and large 


pearls, suitable to Kings. They were like gravel in the 
channels of the water which flowed through the fields ; and 
all the bed of that stream glittered by reason of the great 
number of minerals and other things that it contained. We 
likewise saw on that island an abundance of the best kind of 
Sanfi aloes-wood, and Kamari aloes-wood. And in that 
island is a gushing spring of crude ambergris, which floweth 
like wax over the side of that spring through the violence 
of the heat of the sun, and spreadeth upon the sea-shore, and 
the monsters of the deep come up from the sea and swallow 
it, and descend with it into the sea ; but it becometh hot in 
their stomachs, therefore they eject it from their mouths into 
the sea, and it congealeth on the surface of the water. Upon 
this, its colour and its qualities become changed, and the 
waves cast it up on the shore of the sea: so the travellers 
and merchants who know it take it and smell it. But as to 
the crude ambergris that is not swallowed, it floweth over 
the side of that mountain, and congealeth upon the ground : 
and when the sun shineth upon it, it melteth, and from it the 
odour of the whole of that valley becometh like the odour of 
musk. Then, when the sun withdraweth from it, it con- 
gealeth again. The place wherein is this crude ambergris 
no one can enter: no one can gain access to it: for the 
mountain surroundeth that island. 

We continued to wander about the island, diverting our- 
selves with the view of the good things which God (whose 
name be exalted!) had created upon it. and perplexed at 
our case, and at the things that we beheld, and affected with 
violent fear. We had collected upon the shore of the sea 
a small quantity of provisions, and w^e used it sparingly, 
eating of it every day, or two days, only one meal, dreading 
the exhaustion of our stock, and our dying in sorrow, from 
the violence of hunger and fear. Each one of us that died 
we washed, and shrouded in some of the clothes and linen 
which the sea cast upon the shore of the island; and thus 
we did until a great number of us had died, and there 
remained of us but a small party, who were weakened by a 
colic occasioned by the sea. After this, we remained a 
short period, and all my associates and companions died, 
one after another, and each of them who died we buried. 


Then I was alone on that island, and there remained with 
me but little of the provisions, after there had been much. 
So I wept for myself, and said, Would that I had died be- 
fore my companions, and that they had washed me and 
buried me ! There is no strength nor power but in God, 
the High, the Great! — And I remained a short time longer; 
after which I arose and dug for myself a deep grave on the 
shore of the island, and said within myself. When I fall 
sick, and know that death hath come to me, I will lie down 
in this grave, and die in it, and the wind will blow the sand 
upon me, and cover me; so I shall become buried in it. 
I blamed myself for my little sense, and my going forth 
from my country and my city, and my voyaging to foreign 
countries, after what I had suffered in the first instance, and 
the second and the third and the fourth and the fifth ; and 
when I had not performed one of my voyages without 
suffering in it horrors and distresses more troublesome and 
more difficult than the horrors preceding. I believed not 
that I could escape and save myself, and repented of under- 
taking sea-voyages, and of my returning to this life when I 
was not in want of wealth, but had abundance, so that I 
could not consume what I had, nor spend half of it during 
the rest of my life ; having enough for me, and more 
than enough. 

Then I meditated in my mind, and said. This river 
must have a beginning and an end, ajid it must have a place 
of egress into an inliabited country. The right plan in my 
opinion will be for me to construct for myself a small raft, 
of sufficient size for me to sit upon it, and I will go down 
and cast it upon this river, and depart on it. If I find 
safety, I am safe, and escape, by permission of God (whose 
name be exalted!) ; and if I find no way of saving- myself, 
it will be better for me to die in this river than in this 
place. — And I sighed for myself. Then I arose and went 
and collected pieces of wood that were upon that island, of 
Sanfi and Kamari aloes-wood, and bound them upon the 
shore of the sea with some of the ropes of the ships that 
had been wrecked ; and I brought some straight planks, of 
the planks of the ships, and placed them upon those pieces 
of wood. I made the raft to suit the width of the river, 


less wide than the latter, and bound it well and firmly ; and 
having taken with me some of those minerals and jewels 
and goods, and of the large pearls that were like gravel, as 
well as other things that were upon the island, and some of 
the crude, pure, excellent ambergris, I put them upon that 
raft, with all that I had collected upon the island, and took 
with me what remained of the provisions. I then launched 
the raft upon the river, made for it two pieces of wood like 
oars, and acted in accordance with the following saying of 
one of the poets: — 

Depart from a place wherein is oppression, and leave the house to 
tell its builder's fate ; 

For thou wilt find, for the land that thou quittest, another ; but 
no soul wilt thou find to replace thine own. 

Grieve not on account of nocturnal calamities ; since every afflic- 
tion will have its end ; 

And he whose death is decreed to take place in one land will not 
die in any land but that. 

Send not thy messenger on an errand of importance ; for the soul 
hath no faithful minister save itself. 

I departed upon the raft along the river, meditating upon 
what might be the result of my case, and proceeded to the 
place where the river entered beneath the mountain. I 
propelled the raft into that place, and became in intense 
darkness within it, and the raft continued to carry me in 
with the current to a narrow place beneath the mountain, 
where the sides of the raft rubbed against the sides of the 
channel of the river, and my head rubbed against the roof 
of the channel. I was unable to return thence, and I 
blamed myself for that which I had done, and said, If this 
place become narrower to the raft, it will scarcely pass 
through it, and it cannot return : so I shall perish in this 
place in sorrow, inevitably ! I threw myself upon my face 
on the raft, on account of the narrowness of the channel of 
the river, and ceased not to proceed, without knowing night 
from day, by reason of the darkness in which I was involved 
beneath that mountain, together with my terror and fear 
for myself lest I should perish. In this state I continued 
my course along the river, which sometimes widened and 
at other times contracted; but the intensity of the darkness 


wearied me excessively, and slumber overcame me in con- 
sequence of the violence of my distress. So I lay upon 
my face on the raft, which ceased not to bear me along 
while I slept, and knew not whether the time was long or 

At length I awoke, and found myself in the light; and, 
opening my eyes, I beheld an extensive tract, and the raft 
tied to the shore of an island, and around me a company of 
Indians, and [people like] Abyssinians. When they saw 
that I had risen, they rose and came to me, and spoke to 
me in their language; but I knew not what they said, and 
imagined that it was a dream, and that this occurred in 
sleep, by reason of the violence of my distress and vexation. 
And when they spoke to me and I understood not their 
speech, and returned them not an answer, a man among 
them advanced to me, and said to me, in the Arabic 
language, Peace be on thee, O our brother ! What art thou, 
and whence hast thou come, and what is the cause of thy 
coming to this place? We are people of the sown lands 
and the fields, and we came to irrigate our fields and our 
sown lands, and found thee asleep on the raft: so we laid 
hold upon it, and tied it here by us, waiting for thee to 
rise at thy leisure. Tell us then what is the cause of thy 
coming to this place. — I replied, I conjure thee by Allah, 
O my master, that thou bring me some food; for I am 
hungry; and after that, ask of me concerning what thou 
wilt. And thereupon he hastened, and brought me food, 
and I ate until I was satiated and was at ease, and my fear 
subsided, my satiety was abundant, and my soul returned to 
me. I therefore praised God (whose name be exalted!) 
for all that had occurred, rejoiced at my having passed 
forth from that river, and having come to these people; 
and I told them of all that had happened to me from begin- 
ning to end, and of what I had experienced upon that river, 
and of its narrowness. They then talked together, and said. 
We must take him with us and present him to our King, 
that he may acquaint him with what hath happened to him. 
Accordingly they took me with them, and conveyed with me 
the raft, together with all that was upon it, of riches and 
goods, and jewels and minerals, and ornaments of gold, and 



they took me in to their King, who was the King of 
Sarandib,' and acquainted him with what had happened; 
whereupon he saluted me and welcomed me, and asked me 
respecting my state, and respecting the events that had 
happened to me. I therefore acquainted him with all my 
story, and what I had experienced, from the first to last ; and 
the King wondered at this narrative extremely, and con- 
gratulated me on my safety. Then I arose and took forth 
from the raft a quantity of the minerals and jewels, and 
aloes-wood and crude ambergris, and gave it to the King; 
and he accepted it from me, and treated me with exceeding 
honour, lodging me in a place in his abode. I associated 
with the best and the greatest of the people, who paid me 
great respect, and I quitted not the abode of the King. 

The island of Sarandib is under the equinoctial line; 
its night being always twelve hours, and its day also twelve 
hours. Its length is eighty leagues; and its breadth, thirty; 
and it extendeth largely between a lofty mountain and a 
deep valley. This mountain is seen from a distance of three 
days, and it containeth varieties of jacinths, and different 
kinds of minerals, and trees of all sorts of spices, and its 
surface is covered with emery, wherewith jewels are cut into 
shape: in its rivers also are diamonds, and pearls are in its 
valleys. I ascended to the summit of the mountain, and 
diverted myself with a view of its wonders, which are not 
to be described; and afterwards I went back to the King, 
and begged him to give me permission to return to my 
country. He gave me permission after great pressing, and 
bestowed upon me an abundant present from his treasuries; 
and he gave me a present and a sealed letter, saying to me. 
Convey these to the Khalifeh Harun Er-Rashid, and give 
him many salutations from us. So I replied, I hear and 
obey. Then he wrote for me a letter on skin of the khawi, 
which is finer than parchment, of yellowish colour; and 
the writing was in ultramarine. And the form of what he 
wrote to the Khalifeh was this: — Peace be on thee, from 
the King of India, before whom are a thousand elephants, 
and on the battlements of whose palace are a thousand 
jewels. To proceed: we have sent to thee a trifling present: 

" Ceylon. 


accept it then from us. Thou art to us a brother and 
sincere friend, and the afifection for you that is in our 
hearts is great: therefore favour us by a reply. The 
present is not suited to thy dignity; but we beg of thee, 
O brother, to accept it graciously. And peace be on thee ! 
— And the present was a cup of ruby, a span high, the 
inside of which was embellished with precious pearls; and 
a bed covered with the skin of the serpent that swalloweth 
the elephant, which skin hath spots, each like a piece of 
gold, and whosoever sitteth upon it never becometh diseased, 
and a hundred thousand mithkals of Indian aloes-wood; 
and a slave-girl like the shining full moon. Then he bade 
me farewell, and gave a charge respecting me to the mer- 
chants and the master of the ship. 

So I departed thence, and we continued our voyage 
from island to island and from country to country imtil 
we arrived at Baghdad, whereupon I entered my house, and 
met my family and my brethren; after which I took the 
present, with a token of service from myself for the Khalifeh. 
On entering his presence, I kissed his hand, and placed 
before him the whole, giving him the letter; and he read 
it, and took the present, with which he was greatly rejoiced, 
and he treated me with the utmost honour. He then said 
to me, O Sindibad, is that true which this King hath stated 
in his letter? And I kissed the ground, and answered, 
O my lord, I witnessed in his kingdom much more than 
he hath mentioned in his letter. On the day of his public 
appearance, a throne is set for him upon a huge elephant, 
eleven cubits high, and he sitteth upon it, having with 
him his chief officers and pages and guests, standing in two 
ranks, on his right and on his left. At his head standeth 
a man having in his hand a golden javelin, and behind him 
a man in whose hand is a great mace of gold, at the top 
of which is an emerald a span in length, and of the thick- 
ness of a thumb. And when he mounteth, there mount at 
the same time with him a thousand horsemen clad in gold 
and silk ; and as the King proceedeth, a man before him 
proclaimeth, saying. This is the King of great dignity, of 
high authority ! And he proceedeth to repeat his praises 
in terms that I remember not, at the end of his panegyric 


saying, This is the King the owner of the crown the like 
of which neither Suleyman nor the Mihraj possessed ! Then 
he is silent; and one behind him proclaimeth, saying, He 
will die ! Again I say, He will die ! Again I say. He will 
die ! — And the other saith, Extolled be the perfection of the 
Living who dieth not ! — ^Moreover, by reason of his justice 
and good government and intelligence, there is no Kadi 
in his city ; and all the people of his country^ distinguish 
the truth from falsity. — And the Khalifeh wondered ai. my 
words, and said. How great is this King ! His letter hath 
shewn me this ; and as to the greatness of his dominion, 
thou hast told us what thou hast witnessed. By Allah, he 
hath been endowed with wisdom and dominion ! — Then the 
Khalifeh conferred favours upon me, and commanded me 
to depart to my abode. So I came to my house, and gave 
the legal and other alms, and continued to live in the same 
pleasant circumstances as at present. I forgot the arduous 
troubles that I had experienced, discarded from my heart 
the anxieties of travel, rejected from my mind distress, and 
betook myself to eating and drinking, and pleasures and 


The Seventh Voyage of Es-Sindibad of the Sea 

When I relinquished voyaging, and the affairs of com- 
merce, I said within myself, What hath happened to me 
sufificeth me. And my time was spent in joy and pleasures. 
But while I was sitting one day, the door was knocked : so 
the door-keeper opened, and a page of the Khalifeh entered 
and said, The Khalifeh summoneth thee. I therefore went 
with him to his majesty, and kissed the ground before him 
and saluted him, whereupon he welcomed me and treated 
me with honour; and he said to me, O Sindibad. I have 
an affair for thee to perform. Wilt thou do it? — So I 
kissed his hand, and said to him, O my lord, what affair 
hath the master for the slave to perform? And he an- 
swered me, I desire that thou go to the King of Sar- 
andib, and convey to him our letter and our present ; for 
he sent to us a present and a letter. And I trembled thereat, 
and replied, By Allah the Great, O my lord, I have taken 


a hatred to voyaging; and when a voyage on the sea. or 
any other travel, is mentioned to me, my joints tremble, 
in onsequence of what hath befallen me and what I have 
experienced of troubles and horrors, and I have no desire 
for that whatever, IMoreover I have bound myself by an 
oath not to go forth from Baghdad. — Then I informed the 
Khalifch of all that had befallen me from the first to last ; 
and he wondered exceedingly, and said, By Allah the Great, 
O Sindibad, it hath not been heard from times of old that 
such events have befallen any one as have befallen thee, 
and it is incumbent on thee that thou never mention the 
subject of travel. But for my sake thou wilt go this time, 
and convey our present and our letter to the King of 
Sarandib; and thou shalt return quickly if it be the will 
of God (whose name be exalted!), that we may no longer 
have a debt of favour and courtesy to the King. — So I 
replied that I heard and obeyed, being unable to oppose 
his command. He then gave me the present and the letter, 
with money for my expenses, and I kissed his hand and 
departed from him. 

I went from Baghdad to the sea, and embarked in a ship, 
and we proceeded days and nights, by the aid of God (whose 
name be exalted !), until we arrived at the island of Sarandib, 
and with us were many merchants. As soon as we arrived, 
we landed at the city, and I took the present and the letter, 
and went in with them to the King, and kissed the ground 
before him. And when he saw me, he said, A friendly 
welcome to thee, O Sindibad ! By Allah the Great, we have 
longed to see thee, and praise be to God who hath shewn 
us thy face a second time ! — Then he took me by the hand, 
and seated me by his side, welcoming me, and treating me 
with familiar kindness, and he rejoiced greatly. He began 
to converse with me, and addressed me with courtesy, and 
said. What was the cause of thy coming to us, O Sindibad? 
So I kissed his hand, and thanked him, and answered him, 
O my lord, I have brought thee a present and a letter from 
my master the Khalifeh Harun Er-Rashid. I then offered 
to him the present and the letter, and he read the letter, 
and rejoiced at it greatly. The present was a horse worth 
ten thousand pieces of gold, with its saddle adorned with 


gold set with jewels; and a book, and a sumptuous dress. 
and a hundred different kinds of white cloths of Egypt, 
and silks of Es-Suweys' and El-Kufeh and Alexandria, and 
Greek carpets, and a hundred menus of silk and flax, and 
a wonderful, extraordinary cup of crystal, in the midst of 
which was represented the figure of a lion with a man kneel- 
ing before him and having drawn an arrow in his bow with 
his utmost force, and also the table of Suleyman the son of 
Da'ud, on whom be peace ! And the contents of the letter 
were as follows : — Peace from the King Er-Rashid, strength- 
ened by God (who hath given to him and to his ancestors 
the rank of the noble, and wide-spread glory), on the for- 
tunate Sultan. To proceed : thy letter hath reached us, and 
we rejoiced at it; and we have sent the book [entitled] the 
Delight of the Intelligent, and the Rare Present for Friends ; 
together with varieties of royal rarities ; therefore do us the 
favour to accept them : and peace be on thee ! — Then the 
King conferred upon me abundant presents, and treated me 
with the utmost honour; so I prayed for him, and thanked 
him for his beneficence ; and some days after that, I begged 
his permission to depart; but he permitted me not save 
after great pressing. Thereupon I took leave of him, and 
went forth from his city, with merchants and other com- 
panions, to return to my country, without any desire for 
travel or commerce. 

We continued our voyage until we had passed many 
islands; but in the midst of our course over the sea. there 
appeared to us a number of boats, which surrounded us, 
and in them were men like devils, having, in their hands, 
swords and daggers, and equipped with coats of mail, and 
arms and bows. They smote us, and wounded and slew 
those of us who opposed them, and, having taken the ship 
with its contents, conveyed us to an island, where they sold 
us as slaves, for the smallest price. But a rich man pur- 
chased me, and took me into his house, fed me and gave me 
to drink, and clad me and treated me in a friendly manner. 
So my soul was tranquillized, and I rested a little. Then, 
one day. he said to me, Dost thou not know any art or 
trade? I answered him, O my lord, I am a merchant: I 

T Suez. 


know nothing but traffic. And he said, Dost thou know the 
art of shooting with the bow and arrow? — Yes, I answered: 
I know that. And thereupon he brought me a bow and 
arrows, and mounted me behind him upon an elephant : 
then he departed at the close of night, and, conveying me 
among some great trees, came to a lofty and firm tree, upon 
which he made me climb; and he gave me the bow and 
arrows, saying to me. Sit here now, and when the elephants 
come in the daytime to this place, shoot at them with the 
arrows: perhaps thou wilt strike one of them; and if one 
of them fall, come to me and inform me. He then left me 
and departed ; and I was terrified and frightened. I remained 
concealed in the tree until the sun rose ; when the elephants 
came forth wandering about among the trees, and I ceased 
not to discharge my arrows till I shot one of them. I there- 
fore went in the evening to my master, and informed him; 
and he was delighted with me, and treated me with honour; 
and he went and removed the slain elephant. 

In this manner I continued, every day shooting one. 
and my master coming and removing it, until one day, I 
was sitting in the tree, concealed, and suddenly elephants 
innumerable came forth, and I heard the sounds of their 
roaring and growling, which were such that I imagined the 
earth trembled beneath them. They all surrounded the 
tree in which I was sitting, their circuit being fifty cubits, 
and a huge elephant, enormously great, advanced and came 
to the tree, and, having wound his trunk around it, pulled it 
up by the roots, and cast it upon the ground. I fell down 
senseless among the elephants, and the great elephant, 
approaching me, wound his trunk around me, raised me 
on his back, and went away with me, the other elephants 
accompanying. And he ceased not to proceed with me, 
while I was absent from the world, until he had taken me 
into a place, and thrown me from his back, when he departed, 
and the other elephants followed him. So I rested a little, 
and my terror subsided ; and I found myself among the 
bones of elephants. I knew therefore that this was the 
burial-place of the elephants, and that that elephant had 
conducted me to it on account of the teeth. 

I then arose, and journeyed a day and a night until I 


arrived at the house of my master, who saw me changed in 
ecmplexion by fright and hunger. And he was rejoiced at 
my return, and said, By Allah, thou hast pained our heart; 
for I went and found the tree torn up, and I imagined that 
the elephants had destroyed thee. Tell me, then, how it 
happened with thee. — So I informed him of that which had 
befallen me; whereat he wondered greatly, and rejoiced; and 
he said to me. Dost thou know that place ? I answered, Yes, 
O my master. And he took me, and we went out, mounted 
on an elephant, and proceeded until we came to that place; 
and when my master beheld those numerous teeth, he re- 
joiced greatly at the sight of them; and he carried away 
as much as he desired, and we returned to the house. 
He then treated me with increased favour, and said to me, 
O my son, thou hast directed us to a means of very great 
gain. May God then recompense thee well ! Thou art 
freed for the sake of God, whose name be exalted ! These 
elephants used to destroy many of us on account of [our 
seeking] these teeth ; but God hath preserved thee from 
them, and thou hast profited us by these teeth to which 
thou hast directed us. — I replied, O my master, may God 
free thy neck from the fire [of Hell] ! And I request of thee, 

my master, that thou give me permission to depart to my 
country. — Yes, said he: thou shalt have that permission: but 
we have a fair, on the occasion of which the merchants come 
to us and purchase the teeth of these elephants of us. The 
time of the fair is now near ; and-when they have come to us, 

1 will send thee with them, and will give thee what will convey 
thee to thy country. — So I prayed for him and thanked him ; 
and I remained with him treated with respect and honour. 

Then, some days after this, the merchants came as he 
had said, and bought and sold and exchanged; and when 
they were about to depart, my master came to me, and said, 
The merchants are going: therefore arise that thou mayest 
depart with them to thy country. Accordingly I arose, 
determined to go with them. They had bought a great 
quantity of those teeth, and packed up their loads, and 
embarked them in the ship; and my master sent me with 
them. He paid for me the money for my passage in the 
ship, together with all that was required of me, and gave me 


a large quantity of goods. And we pursued our voyage 
from island to island until we had crossed the sea and landed 
on the shore, w'hen the merchants took forth what was with 
them, and sold. I also sold what I had at an excellent 
rate; and I purchased some of the most elegant of things 
suited for presents, and beautiful rarities, with every thing 
that I desired. I likewise bought for myself a beast to ride, 
and we went forth, and crossed the deserts from country to 
country until I arrived at Baghdad ; when I went in to the 
Khali feh, and, having given the salutation, and kissed his 
hand, I informed him of what had happened and what had 
befallen me; whereupon he rejoiced at my safety, and 
thanked God (whose name be exalted!); and he caused 
my story to be written in letters of gold. I then entered 
my house, and met my family and my brethren. — This is 
the end of the history of the events that happened to me 
during my voyages; and praise be to God, the One, the 
Creator, the Maker ! 

And when Es-Sindibad of the Sea had finished his story, 
he ordered his servant to give to Es-Sindibad of the Land a 
hundred pieces of gold, and said to him. How now, O my 
brother? Hast thou heard of the like of these afflictions 
and calamities and distresses, or have such troubles as have 
befallen me befallen any one else, or hath any one else 
suffered such hardships as I have suffered? Know then 
that these pleasures are a compensation for the toil and 
humiliations that I have experienced. — And upon this, Es- 
Sindibad of the Land advanced, and kissed his hands, and 
said to him, O my lord, by Allah, thou hast undergone 
great horrors, and hast deserved these abundant favours : 
continue then, O my lord, in joy and security; for God hath 
removed from thee the evils of fortune; and I beg of God that 
He may continue to thee thy pleasures, and bless thy days, — 
And upon this, Es-Sindibad of the Sea bestowed favours upon 
him, and made him his boon-companion; and he quitted him 
not by night nor by day as long as they both lived. 

Praise be to God, the Mighty, the Omnipotent, the Strong, 
the Eminent in power, the Creator of the heaven and the 
earth, and of the land and the seas ! 

[Nights 5<^'5—57^-'] 
The Story of the City of Brass 

THERE was, in olden time, and in an ancient age and 
period, in Damascus of Syria, a King, one of the Kha- 
lifehs, named 'Abd-El-Melik the son of Marwan; and 
he was sitting, one day, having with him the great men of his 
empire, consisting of Kings and Sultans, when a discussion 
took place among them, respecting the traditions of former 
nations. They called to mind the stories of our lord Suley- 
man the son of Da'ud (on both of whom be peace!), and 
the dominion and authority which God (whose name be 
exalted ! ) had bestowed upon him over mankind and the 
Jinn and the birds and the wild beasts and other things; 
and they said, We have heard from those who were before 
us that God (whose perfection be extolled, and whose name 
be exalted!) bestowed not upon any one the like of that 
which He bestowed upon our lord Suleyman, and that he 
attained to that to which none other attained, so that he 
used to imprison the Jinn and the Marids and the Devils in 
bottles of brass, and pour molten lead over them, and seal 
this cover over them with a signet. 

Then Talib [the son of Sahl] related, that a man em- 
barked in a ship with a company of others, and they voyaged 
to the island of Sicily, and ceased not in their course until 
there arose against them a wind which bore them away to 
one of the lands of God. whose name be exalted I This 
happened during the black darkness of night, and when the 
day shone forth, there came out to them, from caves in that 
land, people of black complexion and with naked bodies, 
like wild beasts, not understanding speech. They had a 
King of their own race, and none of them knew Arabic save 
their King. So when they saw the ship and those who were 



in her, he came forth to them attended by a party of his 
companions, and sahited them and welcomed them, and 
inquired of them respecting their reHgion. They therefore 
acquainted him with their state; and he said to them. No 
harm shall befall you. And when he asked them respecting 
their religion, each of them was of some one of the religions 
prevailing before the manifestation of El-Islam, and before 
the mission of Mohammad, may God bless and save him ! — 
wherefore the people of the ship said, We know not what 
thou sayest. Then the King said to them, There hath not 
come to us any one of the sons of Adam before you. And 
he entertained them with a banquet of the flesh of birds and 
of wild beasts and of fish, beside which they had no food. 
And after this, the people of the ship went down to divert 
themselves in the city, and they found one of the fishermen 
who had cast his net in the sea to catch fish, and he drew it 
up, and lo, in it was a bottle of brass, stopped with lead, 
which was sealed with the signet of Suleyman the son of 
Da'ud, on both of whom be peace ! And the fisherman 
came forth and broke it; whereupon there proceeded from 
it a blue smoke, which united with the clouds of heaven ; 
and they heard a horrible voice, saying, Repentance ! re- 
pentance ! O Prophet of God ! — Then, of that smoke there 
was formed a person of terrible aspect, of terrific make, 
whose head would reach [as high as] a mountain; and he 
disappeared from before their eyes. As to the people of 
the ship, their hearts were almost eradicated; but the blacks 
thought nothing of the event. And a man returned to the 
King, and asked him respecting this ; and the King answered 
him. Know that this is one of the Jinn whom Suleyman the 
son of Da'ud, when he was incensed against them, imprisoned 
in these bottles, and he poured lead over them, and threw 
them into the sea. When the fisherman casteth his net, it 
generally bringeth up these bottles; and when they are 
broken, there cometh forth from them a Jinni, who imagineth 
that Suleyman is still living; wherefore he repenteth, and 
saith, Repentance ! O Prophet of God ! 

And the Prince of the Faithful, 'Abd-El-Melik the son 
of Marwan, wondered at these words, and said, Extolled 
be the perfection of God! Suleyman was endowed with a 


mighty dominion ! — And among those who were present in 
that assembly was En-Xabighah Edh-Dhubyani :^ and he 
said, TaHb hath spoken truth in that which he hath related, 
and the proof of his veracity is the saying of the Wise, the 
First, [thus versified] — 

And [consider] Suleyman, when the Deity said to him. Perform 
the office of Khalifeh, and govern with diligence; 

And whoso obeyeth thee, honour him for doing so; and whoso 
disobeyeth thee, imprison him for ever. 

He used to put them into bottles of brass, and to cast them 
into the sea. — And the Prince of the Faithful approved of 
these words, and said, By Allah, I desire to see some of 
these bottles ! So Talib the son of Sahl replied, O Prince 
of the Faithful, thou art able to do so, and yet remain in 
thy country. Send to thy brother 'Abd-El-'Aziz, the son of 
Marwan, desiring him to bring them to thee from the 
Western country ,° that he may write orders to Musa' to 
journey from the Western Country to this mountain which 
we have mentioned, and to bring thee what thou desirest 
of these bottles; for the furthest tract of his province is 
adjacent to this mountain. — And the Prince of the Faithful 
approved of his advice, and said, O Talib, thou hast spoken 
truth in that which thou hast said, and I desire that thou be 
my messenger to Musa the son of Nuseyr for this purpose, 
and thou shalt have a white ensign, together with what thou 
shalt desire of wealth or dignity or other things, and I will 
be thy substitute to take care of thy family. To this, Talib 
replied. Most willingly, O Prince of the Faithful. And the 
Khalifeh said to him. Go in dependence on the blessing of 
God, and his aid. Then he gave orders that they should 
write for him a letter to his brother 'Abd-El-'Aziz, his vice- 
roy in Egypt, and another letter to J^Iusa. his viceroy in 
the Western Country, commanding him to journey, himself, 
in search of the bottles of Suleyman, to leave his son to 
govern the country in his stead, and to take with him 
guides, to expand wealth, and to collect a large number of 
men, and not to be remiss in accomplishing that object, nor 
to use any pretext to excuse himself. He sealed the two 

* .\n Arab poet, who, however, died before Islam. 
- El-.Mat-'hrib, North .Africa. 

* [The Arab general who conquered North Africa and Spain.] 


letters, and delivered them to Talib the son of Sahl, com- 
manding him to hasten, and to elevate the ensigns over 
his head ; and he gave him riches and riders and footmen 
to aid him in his way : he gave orders also to supply his 
house with every thing requisite. 

So Talib went forth on his way to Egypt. He proceeded 
with his companions, traversing the districts from Syria, 
until they entered Misr ;* when the Governor of Egypt met 
him, and lodged him with him ; and he treated him with 
the utmost honour during the period of his stay with 
him. Then he sent with him a guide who accompanied him 
to Upper Eg}'pt until they came to the Emir Musa the 
son of Nuseyr; and when he knew of his approach, he went 
forth to him and met him, and rejoiced at his arrival; 
and Talib handed to him the letter. So he took it and 
read it and understood its meaning; and he put it upon 
his head saying, I hear and obey the command of the 
Prince of the Faithful. He determined to summon the 
great men ; and they presented themselves ; and he in- 
quired of them respecting that which had been made known 
to him by the letter; whereupon they said, O Emir, if thou 
desire him who will guide thee to that place, have recourse 
to the sheykh *Abd-Es-Samad the son of 'Abd-El-Kuddus El- 
Masmudi; for he is a knowing man, and hath travelled 
much, and he is acquainted with the deserts and wastes and 
the seas, and their inhabitants and their wonders, and the 
countries and their districts. Have recourse therefore to 
him, and he will direct thee to the object of thy desire. 
Accordingly he gave orders to bring him, and he came before 
him ; and, lo, he was a very old man, whom the vicissitudes 
of years and times had rendered decrepit. The Emir Musa 
saluted him, and said to him, O sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, our 
lord the Prince of the Faithful, 'Abd-El-Melik the son of 
^larwan, hath com.mandcd us thus and thus, and I possess 
little knowledge of that land, and it hath been told me that 
thou art acquainted with that country and the routes. Hast 
thou then a wish to accomplish the affair of the Prince of 
the Faithful? — The sheykh replied. Know, O Emir, that 
this route is difficult, far extending, with few tracks. The 

*/. e., El-Fustat, "Old Cairo." 


Emir said to him, How lon^^ a period doth it require? He 
answered, It is a journey of two years and some months 
going, and the like returning; and on the way are difficul- 
ties and horrors, and extraordinary and wonderful things. 
Moreover, thou art a warrior for the defence of the faith, 
and our country is near unto the enemy; so perhaps the 
Christians may come forth during our absence : it is expedient 
therefore that thou leave in thy province one to govern it. — 
He replied, Well. And he left his son Harun as his substi- 
tute in his province, exacted an oath of fidelity to him, and 
commanded the troops that they should not oppose him, but 
obey him in all that he should order them to do. And they 
heard his words, and obeyed him. His son Harun was of 
great courage, an illustrious hero, and a bold champion; 
and the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad pretended to him that the 
place in which were the things that the Prince of the Faithful 
desired was four months' journey distant, on the shore of 
the sea, and that throughout the whole route were halting- 
places adjacent one to another, and grass and springs. And 
he said, God will assuredly make this affair easy to us 
through the blessing attendant upon thee, O Viceroy of the 
Prince of the Faithful. Then the Emir Musa said, Knowest 
thou if any one of the Kings have trodden this land before 
us? He answered him. Yes, O Emir: this land belonged 
to the King of Alexandria, Darius the Greek. 

After this they departed, and they continued their journey 
until they arrived at a palace ; whereupon the sheykh said, 
Advance with us to this palace, which presenteth a lesson 
to him who will be admonished. So the Emir Musa advanced 
thither, together with the sheykh *Abd-Es-Samad and his 
chief companions, till they came to its entrance. And they 
found it open, and having lofty angles, and steps, among 
which were two wide steps of coloured marbles, the like 
of which hath not been seen: the ceilings and walls were 
decorated with gold and silver and minerals, and over the 
entrance was a slab, whereon was an inscription in ancient 
Greek ; and the sheykh *Abd-Es-Samad said. Shall I read it, 
O Emir? The Emir answered. Advance and read. May 
God bless thee ! for nought hath happened to us during this 
journey but what hath been the result of the blessing attend- 


ant upon thee. — So he read it; and, lo, it was poetry; and 
it was this : — 

Here was a people whom, after their works, thou shalt see wept 

over for their lost dominion ; 
And in this palace is the last information respecting lords collected 

in the dust. 
Death hath destroyed them and disunited them, and in the dust 

they have lost what they amassed ; 
As though they had only put down their loads to rest a while : 

quickly have they departed ! 

And the Emir Musa wept until he became insensible, and he 
said, There is no deity but God, the Living, the Enduring 
without failure ! He then entered the palace, and was con- 
founded by its beauty and its construction ; and he looked 
at the figures and images that it contained. And, lo, over 
the second door were inscribed some verses. So the Emir 
Musa said. Advance, O sheykh, and read. Accordingly he 
advanced and read ; and the verses were these : — 

How many companies have alighted in the tabernacles since times 

of old, and taken their departure I 
Consider thou then what the accidents of fortune have done with 

others when they have befallen them. 
They have shared together what they collected, and they have left 

the pleasure thereof, and departed. 
What enjoyments they had ! and what food did they eat ! and then 

in the dust they themselves were eaten ! 

And again the Emir Musa wept violently : the world became 
yellow before his face; and he said, We have been created 
for a great object ! 

Then they attentively viewed the palace ; and, lo, it was 
devoid of inhabitants, destitute of household and occupants: 
its courts were desolate, and its apartments were deserted; 
and in the midst of it was a chamber covered with a 
lofty dome, rising high into the air, around which were 
four hundred tombs. To these tombs the Emir Musa drew 
near, and, behold, among them was a tomb constructed of 
marble, whereupon were engraved these verses: — 

How often have I stood [in fight] ! and how often slain ! and to 

how many things have I been a witness I 
And how often have I eaten ! and how often drunk ! and how 

often have I heard the songs of beauteous damsels ! 


And how often have I ordered ! and how often forbidden ! and 

how many strong fortresses are seen, 
Which I have besieged and searched, and from which I have taken 

the lovely females' ornaments ! 
But in my ignorance I transgressed to obtain things wished for, 

which proved at last to be frail. 
Then consider attentively thy case, O man, before thou shalt drink 

the cup of death ; 
For after a little while shall the dust be poured upon thee, and 

thou wilt be lifeless. 

And the Emir Musa, and those who were with him, wept. 
Then he drew near to the dome-crowned chamber, and, lo, 
it had eight doors of sandal-wood, with nails of gold, orna- 
mented with stars of silver set with various jewels. And over 
the first door were inscribed these verses : — 

What I have left, I left not from generosity ; but through the 

sentence and decree operating upon man. 
Long time I lived, happy and enraged, defending my asylum like 

a fierce lion. 
I was never quiet, nor would I bestow a mustard-seed, by reason 

of my avarice, though I were cast into the fire. 
Thus did I until I was smitten by the decree of the glorious Deity, 

the Creator, the Maker. 
When my death was appointed soon to take place, I could not 

prevent it by my numerous stratagems ; 
My troops that I had collected availed not, and none of my friends 

aided me, nor my neighbour. 
Throughout my whole life was I wearied in my journey to the 

grave, now in ease, and now in difficulty. 
So, when the purses have become laden, shouldst thou accumulate 

dinar upon dinar. 
It will pass before the morning to another, and they will have 

brought thee a camel-driver and a grave-digger ; 
And on the day of thy judgment, lone shalt thou meet God, laden 

with sin and crimes and heavy burdens. 
Then let not the world deceive thee with its beauty ; but see what 

it hath done to thy family and neighbour. 

And when the Emir Musa heard these verses, he wept again 
so violently that he became insensible ; and after he had 
recovered, he entered the chamber covered with the dome, 
and beheld in it a long tomb, of terrible appearance, whereon 
was a tablet of iron of China; and the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad 
drew near to it, and read its inscription; and, lo, on it was 
written, — 


In the name of God, the Eternal, the Everlasting throughout all 
ages : in the name of God, who begetteth not, and who is not be- 
gotten, and unto whom there is none like : in the name of God, the 
Mighty and Powerful : in the name of the Living who dieth not. — 
To proceed : — O thou who arrivest at this place, be admonished by 
the misfortunes and calamities that thou beholdest, and be not de- 
ceived by the world and its beauty, and its falsity and calumny, and 
its fallacy and finery ; for it is a flatterer, a cheat, a traitor. Its 
things are borrowed, and it will take the loan from the borrower : 
and it is like the confused visions of the sleeper, and the dream 
of the dreamer, as though it were the sarab^ of the plain, which the 
thirsty imagineth to be water : the Devil adorneth it for man until 
death. These are the characteristics of the world : confide not 
therefore in it, nor incline to it; for it will betray him who de- 
pendeth upon it, and who in his affairs relieth upon it. Fall not 
in its snares, nor cling to its skirts. For I possessed four thousand 
bay horses in a stable; and I married a thousand damsels, of the 
daughters of Kings, high-bosomed virgins, like moons ; and I was 
blessed with a thousand children, like stern lions ; and I lived a 
thousand years, happy in mind and heart ; and I amassed riches such 
as the Kings of the regions of the earth were unable to procure, and 
I imagined that my enjoyments would continue without failure. 
But I was not aware when there alighted among us the terminator 
of delights and the separator of companies, the desolator of abodes 
and the ravager of inhabited mansions, the destroyer of the great 
and the small and the infants and the children and the mothers. 
We had resided in this palace in security until the event decreed by 
the Lord of all creatures, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord 
of the earths, befell us, and the thunder of the Manifest Truth 
assailed us, and there died of us every day two, till a great com- 
pany of us had perished. So when I saw that destruction had en- 
tered our dwellings, and had alighted among us, and drowned us 
in the sea of deaths, I summoned a writer, and ordered him to 
write these verses and admonitions and lessons, and caused them to 
be engraved upon these doors and tablets £.nd tombs. I had an army 
comprising a thousand thousand bridles, composed of hardy men, with 
spears, and coats of mail, and sharp swords, and strong arms ; and 
I ordered them to clothe themselves with the long coats of mail, 
and to hang on the keen swords, and to place in rest the terrible 
lances, and mount the high-blooded horses. Then, when the event 
appointed by the Lord of all creatures, the Lord of the earth and 
the heavens, befell us, I said, O companies of troops and soldiers, 
can ye prevent that which hath befallen me from the Mighty King? 
But the soldiers and troops were unable to do so, and they said. 
How shall we contend against Him from whom none hath secluded, 
the Lord of the door that hath no door-keeper? So I said, Bring 
to me the wealth. (And it was contained in a thousand pits, in 

* Mirage. 


each of which were a thousand hundred-weights of red gold, and in 
them were varieties of pearls and jewels, and there was the like 
quantity of white silver, with treasures such as the Kings of the 
earth were unable to procure.) And they did so; and when they 
had brought the wealth before me, I said to them. Can ye deliver 
me by means of all these riches, and purchase for me therewith one 
day during which I may remain alive? But they could not do so. 
They resigned themselves to fate and destiny, and I submitted to 
God with patient endurance of fate and affliction until He took my 
soul, and made me to dwell in my grave. And if thou ask concern- 
ing my name, I am Kush the son of Sheddad the son of 'Ad the 

And upon the same tablet were also inscribed these 
verses : — 

Shouldst thou think upon me after the length of my age, and the 

vicissitudes of days and circumstances, 
I am the son of Sheddad, who held dominion over mankind and 

each tract of the whole earth. 
All the stubborn troops became abject unto me, and Esh-Shara 

from Misr unto 'Adnan. 
In glory I reigned, abasing their Kings, the people of the earth 

fearing my dominion ; 
And I beheld the tribes and armies in my power, and saw the 

countries and their inhabitants dread me. 
When I mounted, I beheld my army comprising a million bridles 

upon neighing steeds ; 
And I possessed wealth that could not be calculated, which I 

treasured up against misfortunes. 
Determining to devote the whole of my property for the purpose 

of extending the term of my life. 
But the Deity would nought save the execution of his purpose; 

and thus I became separated from my brethren. 
Death, the disuniter of mankind, came to me, and I was removed 

from grandeur to the mansion of contempt ; 
And I found [the recompense of] all my past actions, for which I 

am pledged : for I was sinful ! 
Then raise thyself, lest thou be upon a brink ; and beware of 

calamities ! Mayest thou be led aright 1 

And again the Emir Musa wept until he became insensible, 
in considering the fates of the people; after which, as they 
were going about through the different apartments of the 
palace, and viewing attentively its chambers and its places 
of diversion, they came to a table upon four legs of alabaster, 
whereon was inscribed, — 


Upon this table have eaten a thousand one-eyed Kings, and a 
thousand Kings each sound in both eyes. All of them have quitted 
the world, and taken up their abode in the burial-grounds and the 

And the Emir Musa wrote all this. Then he went forth, and 
took not with him from the palace aught save the table. 

The soldiers proceeded, with the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad 
before them shewing them the way, until all the first day had 
passed, and the second, and the third. They then came to 
a high hill, at which they looked, and, lo, upon it was a 
horseman of brass^ on the top of whose spear was a wide and 
glistening head that almost deprived the beholder of sight, 
and on it was inscribed, O thou who comest up to me, if thou 
know not the way that leadeth to the City of Brass, rub the 
hand of the horseman, and he will turn, and then will stop, 
and in whatsoever direction he stoppeth, thither proceed, 
without fear and without difficulty ; for it will lead thee to 
the City of Brass. — And when the Emir ]Musa had rubbed 
the hand of the horseman, it turned like the blinding light- 
ning, and faced a different direction from that in which they 
were travelling. 

The party therefore turned thither and journeyed on, and 
it was the right way. They took that route, and continued 
their course the same day and the next night until they had 
traversed a wide tract of country. And as they were pro- 
ceeding, one day, they came to a pillar of black stone, wherein 
was a person sunk to his arm-pits, and he had two huge 
wings, and four arms; two of them like those of the sons of 
Adam, and two like the fore-legs of lions, with claws. He 
had hair upon his head like the tails of horses, and two eyes 
like two burning coals, and he had a third eye, in his fore- 
head, like the eye of the lynx, from which there appeared 
sparks of fire. He was black and tall; and he was crying 
out. Extolled be the perfection of my Lord, who hath 
appointed me this severe affliction and painful torture until 
the day of resurrection ! When the party beheld him, their 
reason fled from them, and they were stupefied at the sight 
of his form, and retreated in flight; and the Emir Musa said 
to the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, What is this? He answered, 
I know not what he is. And the Emir said, Draw near to 


him and investigate his case: perhaps he will discover it, and 
perhaps thou wilt learn his history. The sheykh 'Abd-Es- 
Samad replied, May God amend the state of the Emir ! 
Verily we fear him. — Fear ye not, rejoined the Emir; for 
he is withheld from injuring you and others by the state in 
which he is. So the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad drew near to 
him, and said to him, O thou person, what is thy name, and 
what is thy nature, and what hath placed thee here in this 
manner? And he answered him. As to me, I am an 'Efrit 
of the Jinn, and my name is Dahish the son of El-A'mash, 
and I am restrained here by the majesty, confined by the 
power, [of God,] tormented as long as God (to whom be 
ascribed might and glory!) willeth. Then the Emir Musa 
said, O sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, ask him what is the cause of 
his confinement in this pillar. He therefore asked respecting 
that, and the 'Efrit answered him, Verily my story is won- 
derful ; and it is this : — 

There belonged to one of the sons of Iblis an idol of red 
carnelian, of which I was made guardian ; and there used to 
worship it one of the Kings of the sea, of illustrious dignity, of 
great glory, leading, among his troops of the Jann, a million 
warriors who smote with swords before him, and who answered 
his prayer in cases of difificulty. These Jann who obeyed 
him were under my command and authority, following my 
words when I ordered them : all of them were in rebellion 
against Suleyman the son of Da'ud (on both of whom be 
l^eace !) ; and I used to enter the body of the idol, and com- 
mand them and forbid them. Now the daughter of that 
King was a frequent adorer of the idol, assiduous in the 
worship of it, and she was the handsomest of the people of 
her age_, endowed with beauty and loveliness, and elegance 
and perfection; and I described her to Suleyman, on whom 
be peace ! 

So he sent to her father, saying to him. j\Iarry to me 
thy daughter and break thy carnelian-idol, and bear wit- 
ness that there is no deity but God. and that Suleyman is 
the Prophet of God. If thou do so, thy due shall be the 
same as our due, and thy debt as our debt. But if thou 
refuse, I bring against thee forces with which thou hast not 
power to contend : therefore prepare an answer to the ques- 


tion," and put on the garment of death; for T will come 
to thee with forces that shall fill the vacant region, and leave 
thee like yesterday that hath passed. — And when the mes- 
senger of Suleyman (on whom be peace!) came to him, he 
was insolent and contumacious, and magnified himself and 
was proud. Then he said to his wezirs. What say ye re- 
specting the affair of Suleyman the son of Da'ud ? For he 
hath sent demanding my daughter, and commanding me to 
break my carnelian-idol, and to adopt his faith. — And they 
replied, O great King, can Suleyman do unto thee that, when 
thou art in the midst of this vast sea? If he come unto 
thee, he cannot prevail against thee; since the Marids of the 
Jinn will fight on thy side; and thou shalt seek aid against 
him of thine idol that thou worshippest ; for he will aid thee 
against him and will defend thee. The right opinion is, that 
thou consult thy lord (and they meant by him the red 
carnelian-idol), and hear what will be his reply: if he coun- 
sel thee to fight him, fight him ; but otherwise, do not. — And 
upon this the King went immediately, and, going in to his 
idol, after he had offered a sacrifice and slain victims, fell 
down before it prostrate, and began to weep, and to recite 
these verses : — 

O my lord, verily I know thy dignity ; and, behold, Suleyman 

desireth to break thee. 
O my lord, verily I seek thy defence : command then ; for I am 

obedient to thy command. 

(Then that 'Efrit, the half of whom was in the pillar, said 
to the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, while those around him 
listened,) And thereupon I entered the body of the idol, by 
reason of my ignorance, and the paucity of my sense, and 
my solicitude respecting the affair of Suleyman, and recited 
this couplet : — 

As for me, I am not in fear of him ; for I am acquainted with 

every thing. 
If he wish to wage war with me, I will go forth, and I will snatch 

his soul from him. 

So when the King heard my reply to him, his heart was 
strengthened, and he determined to wage war with Suleyman 

• On the day of judgment. 


the Prophet of God (on whom be peace!) and to fight 
against him. Accordingly, when the messenger of Suleyman 
came, he inflicted upon him a painful beating, and returned 
him a shameful reply; and he sent to threaten Suleyman, 
saying to him, by the messenger. Thy mind hath suggested 
to thee desires. Dost thou threaten me with false words? 
Either come thou to me, or I will go to thee. 

Then the messenger returned to Suleyman, and acquainted 
him with all that had occurred and happened to him. And 
when the Prophet of God, Suleyman, heard that, [it was as 
though] his resurrection took place;' his resolution was 
roused, and he prepared his forces, consisting of Jinn and 
men, and wild beasts, and birds and reptiles. He com- 
manded his Wezir Ed-Dimiryat, the King of the Jinn, to 
collect the Marids of the Jinn from every place: so he 
collected for him^ of the Devils, six hundred millions. He 
also commanded Asaf the son of Barkhiya [his W'ezir of 
men] to collect his soldiers of mankind; and their number 
was one million or more. He made ready the accoutre- 
ments and weapons, and mounted, with his forces of the 
Jinn and of mankind, upon the carpet, with the birds flying 
over his head^ and the wild beasts beneath the carpet march- 
ing, until he alighted upon his enemy's coast, and surrounded 
his island, having filled the land with the forces. He then 
sent to our King, saying to him, Behold, I have arrived: 
therefore repel from thee that which hath come down, or 
else submit thyself to my authority, and acknowledge my 
mission, and break thine idol, and worship the One, the 
Adored God, and marry to me thy daughter according to 
law, and say thou, and those who are with thee, I testify 
that there is no deity but God, and I testify that Suleyman 
is the Prophet of God. If thou say that, peace and safety 
shall be thy lot. But if thou refuse, thy defending thyself 
from me in this island shall not prevent thee : for God 
(whose name be blessed and exalted!) hath commanded the 
wind to obey me, and I will order it to convey me unto thee 
on the carpet, and will make thee an example to restrain 
others. — So the messenger came to him, and communicated 
to him the message of the Prophet of God, Suleyman, on 

^ I. c, his passion rose. 


whom be peace ! But the King said to him. There is no 
way for the accomplishment of this thing that he requireth 
of me: therefore inform him that I am coming forth unto 
him. Accordingly the messenger returned to Suleyman, and 
gave him the reply. The King then sent to the people of his 
country, and collected for himself, of the Jinn that were 
under his authority, a million; and to these he added others, 
of the Marids and Devils that were in the islands of the 
seas and on the tops of the mountains; after which he made 
ready his forces, and opened the armouries, and distributed 
to them the weapons. And as the Prophet of God, Suley- 
man (on whom be peace!), he disposed his troops, com- 
manding the wild beasts to form themselves into two 
divisions, on the right of the people and on their left, 
and commanding the birds to be upon the islands. He 
ordered them also, when the assault should be made, to 
tear out the eyes of their antagonists with their beaks, and 
to beat their faces with their wings ; and he ordered the 
wild beasts to tear in pieces their horses; and they replied, 
We hear and obey God and thee, O Prophet of God ! Then 
Suleyman, the Prophet of God, set for himself a couch of 
alabaster adorned with jewels, and plated with plates of red 
gold, and he placed his Wezir Asaf the son of Barkhiya on 
the right side, and his Wezir Ed-Dimiryat on the left side, 
and the Kings of mankind on his right, and the Kings of 
the Jinn on his left, and the wild beasts and the vipers and 
serpents before him. 

After this, they came upon us all together, and we con- 
tended with him in a wide tract for a period of two days; 
and calamity befell us on the third day, and the decree of 
God (whose name be exalted !) was executed among us. The 
first who charged upon Suleyman were I and my troops ; and 
I said to my companions, Keep in your places in the battle- 
field while I go forth to them and challenge Ed-Dimiryat. 
And, lo, he came forth, like a great mountain, his fires flam- 
ing, and his smoke ascending; and he approached, and smote 
me with a flaming fire ; and his arrow prevailed over my fire. 
He cried out at me with a prodigious cry, so that I imagined 
the heaven had fallen and closed over me, and the mountains 
shook at his voice. Then he commanded his companions, and 


they charged upon us all together: we also charged upon 
them, and we cried out, one to another : the fires rose and 
the smoke ascended, the hearts of the combatants were almost 
cleft asunder, and the battle raged. The birds fought in the 
air; and the wild beasts in the dust; and I contended with 
Ed-Dimiryat until he wearied me and I wearied him; after 
which I became weak, and my companions and troops were 
enervated, and my tribes were routed. The Prophet of God, 
Suleyman, cried out. Take ye this great tyrant, the ill-omened, 
the infamous! And the men charged upon the men, and the 
Jinn upon the Jinn; defeat befell our King, and we became 
unto Suleyman a spoil. His troops charged upon our forces, 
with the wild beasts on their right and left, and the birds 
were over our heads, tearing out the eyes of the people, some- 
times with their talons and sometimes with their beaks, and 
sometimes they beat with their wings upon the faces of the 
combatants, while the wild beasts bit the horses and tore in 
pieces the men, until the greater portion of the party lay upon 
the face of the earth like the trunks of palm-trees. As to me, 
I flew from before Ed-Dimiryat ; but he followed me a jour- 
ney of three months, until he overtook me. I had fallen down 
through fatigue, and he rushed upon me, and made me a 
prisoner. So I said to him, By Him who hath exalted thee 
and abased me, pity me, and take me before Suleyman, on 
whom be peace ! But when I came before Suleyman, he met 
me in a most evil manner: he caused this pillar to be brought, 
and hollowed it, and put me in it, and sealed me with his 
signet; after which, he chained me, and Ed-Dimiryat con- 
veyed me to this place, where he set me down as thou seest 
me; and this pillar is my prison until the day of resurrection. 
He charged a great king to guard me in this prison, and I am 
in this condition tortured as thou seest me. 

The party therefore wondered at him, and at the horrible 
nature of his form ; and the Emir Musa said. There is no 
deity but God ! Suleyman was endowed with a mighty do- 
minion ! — And the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad said to the 'Efrit, 
O thou, I ask thee concerning a thing of which do thou in- 
form us. The 'Efrit replied, Ask concerning what thou wilt. 
And the sheykh said. Are there in this place any of the 
'Efrits confined in bottles of brass from the time of Suley- 


man. on whom be peace? He answered. Yes, in the Sea of 
El-Karkar, where are a people of the descendants of Xuh 
(on whom be peace !), whose country the deluge reached not, 
and they are separated there from [the rest of] the sons of 
Adam. — And where, said the sheykh, is the way to the City 
of Brass, and the place wherein are the bottles? What dis- 
tance is there between us and it? — The 'Efrit answered. It 
is near. So the party left him, and proceeded ; and there ap- 
peared to them a great black object, with two [seeming] fires 
corresponding with each other in position, in the distance, in 
that black object; whereupon the Emir Musa said to the 
sheykh. What is this great black object, and what are these 
two corresponding fires? The guide answered him. Be re- 
joiced, O Emir; for this is the City of Brass, and this is the 
appearance of it that I find described in the Book of Hidden 
Treasures; that its wall is of black stones, and it hath two 
towers of brass of El-Andalus,® which the beholder seeth 
resembling two corresponding fires; and thence it is named 
the City of Brass. — They ceased not to proceed until they ar- 
rived at it; and, lo. it was lofty, strongly fortified, rising high 
into the air, impenetrable : the height of its walls was eighty 
cubits, and it had five and twenty gates, none of which would 
open but by means of some artifice ; and there was not one 
gate to it that had not, within the city, one like it: such was 
the beauty of the construction and architecture of the city. 
They stopped before it, and endeavoured to discover one of 
its gates; but they could not; and the Emir Musa said to the 
sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, O sheykh, I see not to this city any 
gate. The sheykh replied, O Emir, thus do I find it described 
in the Book of Hidden Treasures ; that it hath five and twenty 
gates, and that none of its gates may be opened but from 
within the city. — And how, said the Emir, can we contrive to 
enter it, and divert ourselves with a view of its wonders? 

Then the Emir Musa ordered one of his young men to 
mount a camel, and ride round the city, in the hope that he 
might discover a trace of a gate, or a place lower than that 
to which they were opposite. So one of his young men 
mounted, and proceeded around it for two days with their 
nights, prosecuting his journey with diligence, and not rest- 

* Spain; not merely Andalusia. 


ing; and when the third day arrived, he came in sight of 
his companions, and he was astounded at that which he be- 
held of the extent of the city, and its height. Then he said, O 
Emir, the easiest place in it is this place at which ye have 
alighted. And thereupon the Emir Musa took Talib the son 
of Sahl, and the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, and they ascended 
a mountain opposite the city, and overlooking it ; and when 
they had ascended that mountain, they saw a city than which 
eyes had not beheld any greater. Its pavilions were 'ofty, 
and its domes were shining; its mansions were in good condi- 
tion, and its rivers were running; its trees were fruitful, and 
its gardens bore ripe produce. It was a city with impenetrable 
gates, empty, still, without a voice or a cheering inhabitant, 
but the owl hooting in its quarters, and birds skimming in 
circles in its areas, and the raven croaking in its districts and 
its great thoroughfare-streets, and bewailing those who had 
been in it. The Emir Musa paused, sorrowing for its being 
devoid of inhabitants, and its being despoiled of people and 
dwellers; and he said, Extolled be the perfection of Him 
whom ages and times change not, the Creator of the creation 
by his power ! And while he was extolling the perfection of 
God (to whom be ascribed might and glory!), he happened 
to look aside, and, lo, there were seven tablets of white 
marble, appearing from a distance. So he approached them, 
and, behold, they were sculptured and inscribed; and he or- 
dered that their writing should be read ; therefore the sheykh 
'Abd-Es-Samad advanced and examined them and read them ; 
and they contained admonition, and matter for example and 
restraint, unto those endowed with faculties of discernment. 
Upon the first tablet was inscribed, in the ancient Greek 
character, — 

O son of Adam, how heedless art thou of the case of him who 
hath been before thee ! Thy years and age have diverted thee from 
considering him. Knowest thou not that the cup of death will be 
filled for thee, and that in a short time thou wilt drink it? Look 
then to thyself before entering thy grave. Where are those who 
possessed the countries and abased the servants of God and led 
armies ? Death hath come upon them ; and God is the terminator 
of delights and the separator of companions and the devastator of 
flourishing dwellings ; so He hath transported them from the ampli- 
tude of palaces to the straitness of the graves. 


And in the lower part of the tablet were inscribed these 
verses : — 

Where are the Kings and the peoplers of the earth ? They have 

quitted that which they have built and peopled ; 
And in the grave they are pledged for their past actions: there, 

after destruction, they have become putrid corpses. 
Where are the troops ? They repelled not, nor profited. And 

where is that which they collected and hoarded ? 
The decree of the Lord of the Throne surprised them. Neither 

riches nor refuge saved them from it. 

And the Emir Musa fainted ; his tears ran down upon his 
cheeks, and he said, By Allah, indifference to the world is 
the most appropriate and the most sure course ! Then he 
caused an inkhorn and a paper to be brought, and he wrote 
the inscription of the first tablet; after which he drew near 
to the second tablet, and the third, and the fourth ; and, 
having copied what was inscribed on them, he descended 
from the mountain ; and the world had been pictured before 
his eyes. 

And when he came back to the troops, they passed the day 
devising means of entering the city; and the Emir Musa said 
to his Wezir, Talib the son of Sahl, and to those of his chief 
officers, who were around him. How shall we contrive to enter 
the city, that we may see its wonders ? Perhaps we shall find 
in it something by which we may ingratiate ourselves with 
the Prince of the Faithful. — Talib the son of Sahl replied. 
May God continue the prosperity of the Emir ! Let us make 
a ladder, and mount upon it, and perhaps we shall gain access 
to the gate from within. — And the Emir said. This is what 
occurred to my mind, and excellent is the advice. Then he 
called to the carpenters and blacksmiths, and ordered them to 
make straight some pieces of wood, and to construct a ladder 
covered with plates of iron. And they did so, and made it 
strong. They employed themselves in constructing it a whole 
month, and many men were occupied in making it. And they 
set it up and fixed it against the wall, and it proved to be 
equal to the wall in height, as though it had been made for it 
before that day. So the Emir Musa wondered at it, and said, 
God bless you ! It seemeth, from the excellence of your work, 
as though ye had adapted it by measurement to the wall. — 


He then said to the people, Which of you will ascend this 
ladder, and mount upon the wall, and walk along it, and con- 
trive means of descending into the city, that he may see how 
the case is, and then inform us of the mode of opening the 
gate? And one of them answered, I will ascend it, O Emir, 
and descend and open the gate. The Emir therefore replied. 
Mount. God bless thee ! — Accordingly, the man ascended the 
ladder until he reached the top of it ; when he stood, and fixed 
his eyes towards the city, clapped his hands, and cried out 
with his loudest voice, saying. Thou art beautiful ! Then he 
cast himself down into the city, and his flesh became mashed 
with his bones. So the Emir Musa said, This is the action of 
the rational. How then will the insane act? If we do thus 
with all our companions, there will not remain of them one; 
and we shall be unable to accomplish our affair, and the affair 
of the Prince of the Faithful. Depart ye; for we have no 
concern with this city. — But one of them said. Perhaps an- 
other than this may be more steady than he. And a second 
ascended, and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth; and they 
ceased not to ascend by that ladder to the top of the wall, 
one after another, until twelve men of them had gone, acting 
as acted the first. Therefore the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad said, 
There is none for this affair but myself, and the experienced is 
not like the inexperienced. But the Emir Musa said to him, 
Thou shalt not do that, nor will I allow thee to ascend to 
the top of this wall ; for shouldst thou die, thou wouldst be 
the cause of the death of us all, and there would not remain 
of us one; since thou art the guide of the party. The sheykh 
however replied. Perhaps the object will be accomplished by 
my means, through the will of God (whose name be exalted !) 
And thereupon all the people agreed to his ascending. 

Then the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad arose, and encouraged 
himself, and, having said, In the name of God, the Com- 
passionate, the Merciful ! — he ascended the ladder, repeating 
the praises of God (whose name be exalted!), and reciting 
the Verses of Safety, until he reached the top of the wall ; 
when he clapped his hands, and fixed his eyes. The people 
therefore all called out to him, and said, O sheykh 'Abd- 
Es-Samad, do it not, and cast not thyself downi ! And they 
said, Verily to God we belong, and verily unto Him we 


return ! If the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad fall, we all perish ! — 
Then the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad laughed immoderately, and 
sat a long time repeating the praises of God (whose name be 
exalted!), and reciting the \'erses of Safety: after which he 
rose with energ}--, and called out with his loudest voice, O 
Emir, no harm shall befall you; for God (to whom be as- 
cribed might and glory!) hath averted from me the effect of 
the artifice and fraudulence of the Devil, through the blessing 
resulting from the utterance of the words. In the name of 
God. the Compassionate, the INIerciful, — So the Emir said to 
him. What hast thou seen, O sheykh ? He answered, When I 
reached the top of the wall, I beheld ten damsels, like moons, 
who made a sign with their hands, as though they would say. 
Come to us. And it seemed to me that beneath me was a 
sea (or great river) of water; whereupon I desired to cast 
myself down, as our companions did : but I beheld them dead; 
so I withheld myself from them, and recited some words of 
the book of God (whose name be exalted!), whereupon God 
averted from me the influence of those damsels' artifice, and 
they departed from me; therefore I cast not myself down, 
and God repelled from me the effect of their artifice and 
enchantment. There is no doubt that this is an enchantment 
and an artifice which the people of this city contrived in order 
to repel from it every one who should desire to look down 
upon it, and wish to obtain access to it ; and these our com- 
panions are laid dead. 

He then walked along the wall till he came to the two 
towers of brass, when he saw that they had two gates of 
gold, without locks upon them, or any sign of the means of 
opening them. Therefore the sheykh paused as long as God 
willed, and, looking attentively, he saw in the middle of one 
of the gates a figure of a horseman of brass, having one hand 
extended, as though he were pointing with it, and on it was 
an inscription, which the sheykh read, and, lo, it contained 
these words : — Turn the pin that is in the middle of the front 
of the horseman's body twelve times, and then the gate will 
open. So he examined the horseman, and in the middle of the 
front of his body was a pin, strong, firm, well fixed ; and he 
turned it twelve times ; whereupon the gate opened immedi- 
ately, with a noise like thunder; and the sheykh 'Abd-Es- 


Samad entered. He was a learned man, acquainted with all 
languages and characters. And he walked on until he en- 
tered a long passage, whence he descended some steps, and he 
found a place with handsome wooden benches, on which were 
people dead, and over their heads were elegant shields, and 
keen swords, and strung bows, and notched arrows. And 
behind the [next] gate were a bar of iron, and barricades of 
wood, and locks of delicate fabric, and strong apparatus. 
Upon this, the sheykh said within himself. Perhaps the keys 
are with these people. Then he looked, and, lo, there was a 
sheykh who appeared to be the oldest of them, and he was 
upon a high wooden bench among the dead men. So the 
sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad said. May not the keys of the city be 
with this sheykh ! Perhaps he was the gate-keeper of the 
city, and these were under his authority. — He therefore drew 
near to him, and lifted up his garments, and, lo, the keys 
were hung to his waist. At the sight of them, the sheykh 
*Abd-Es-Samad rejoiced exceedingly; his reason almost fled 
from him in consequence of his joy; and he took the keys, 
approached the gate, opened the locks, and pulled the gate 
and the barricades and other apparatus, which opened, and 
the gate also opened, with a noise like thunder, by reason of 
its greatness and terribleness, and the enormousness of its 
apparatus. Upon this, the sheykh exclaimed, God is most 
great ! — and the people made the same exclamation with him, 
rejoicing at the event. The Emir Musa also rejoiced at the 
safety of the sheykh *Abd-Es-Samad, and at the opening of 
the gate of the city; the people thanked the sheykh for that 
which he had done, and all the troops hastened to enter the 
gate. But the Emir Musa cried out to them, O people, if 
all of us enter, we shall not be secure from some accident 
that may happen. Half shall enter, and half shall remain 

The Emir Musa then entered the gate, and with him half 
of the people, who bore their weapons of war. And the party 
saw their companions lying dead : so they buried them. They 
saw also the gate-keepers and servants and chamberlains and 
lieutenants lying upon beds of silk, all of them dead. And 
they entered the market of the city, and beheld a great 
market, with lofty buildings, none of which projected beyond 


another: the shops were open, and the scales hung up, and 
the utensils of brass ranged in order, and the khans were full 
of all kinds of goods. And they saw the merchants dead in 
their shops: their skins were dried, and their bones were 
carious, and they had become examples of him who would be 
admonished. They saw likewise four markets of particular 
shops filled with wealth. And they left this place, and passed 
on to the silk-market, in which were silks and brocades inter- 
woven with red gold and white silver upon various colours, 
and the owners were dead, lying upon skins, and appearing al- 
most as though they would speak. Leaving these, they went 
on to the market of jewels and pearls and jacinths; and they 
left it, and passed on to the market of the money-changers, 
whom they found dead, with varieties of silks beneath them, 
and their shops were filled with gold and silver. These they 
left, and they proceeded to the market of the perfumers ; and, 
lo, their shops were filled with varieties of perfumes, and bags 
of musk, and ambergris, and aloes-wood, and nedd, and cam- 
phor, and other things ; and the owners were all dead, not 
having with them any food. And when they went forth from 
the market of the perfumers, they found near unto it a palace, 
decorated, and strongly constructed; and they entered it, and 
found banners unfurled, and drawn swords, and strung bows, 
and shields hung up by chains of gold and silver, and helmets 
gilded with red gold. And in the passages of that palace 
were benches of ivory, ornamented with plates of brilliant 
gold, and with silk, on which were men whose skins had dried 
upon the bones : the ignorant would imagine them to be sleep- 
ing; but, from the want of food, they had died, and tasted 
mortality. Upon this, the Emir Musa paused, extolling the 
perfection of God (whose name be exalted!), and his holi- 
ness, and contemplating the beauty of that palace, and its 
strong construction, and its wonderful fabrication in the most 
beautiful form and with the firmest architecture; and most 
of its decoration was in ultramarine. Around it were in- 
scribed these verses : — 

Consider what thou beholdest, O man ; and be on thy guard before 

thou departest ; 
And prepare good provision, that thou mayest enjoy it; for every 

dweller in a house shall depart. 


Consider a people who decorated their abodes, and in the dust have 

become pledged for their actions. 
They built ; but their buildings availed not : and treasured ; but 

their wealth did not save them when the term had expired. 
How often they hoped for what was not decreed them ! But they 

passed to the graves, and hope did not profit them ; 
And from their high and glorious state they were removed to the 

narrowness of the sepulchre. Evil is their abode ! 
Then there came to them a crier, after they were buried, saying, 

Where are the thrones and the crowns and the apparel ? 
Where are the faces which were veiled and curtained, and on which, 

for their beauty, proverbs were composed ? — 
And the grave plainly answered the inquirer for them, As to the 

cheeks, the rose is gone from them. 
Long time they ate and drank ; but now, after pleasant eating, 

they themselves have been eaten. 

And the Emir Musa wept until he became senseless ; and 
afterwards, having given orders to write these verses, he went 
on into the interior of the palace. There he beheld a great 
hall, and four large and lofty chambers, each one fronting 
another, wide, decorated with gold and silver and with various 
colours. In the midst of the hall was a great fountain of 
alabaster, over which was a canopj' of brocade ; and in those 
chambers were places [one in each chamber] containing deco- 
rated fountains, and tanks lined with marble ; and channels of 
water flowed along the floors of those chambers, the four 
streams meeting together in a great tank lined with marbles 
of various colours. — The Emir ]\Iusa then said to the sheykh 
'Abd-Es-Samad, Enter these chambers with us. So they en- 
tered the first chamber ; and they found it filled with gold 
and with white silver, and pearls and jewels, and jacinths and 
precious minerals. They found in it also chests full of red 
and yellow and white brocades. And they went thence to the 
second chamber, and opened a closet in it. and, lo, it was 
filled with arms and weapons of war, consisting of gilded 
helmets, and Davidean coats of mail, and Indian swords, and 
lances of Khatt Hejer, and maces of Khuwarezm. and other 
instruments of war and battle. Then they passed thence to 
the third chamber, in which they found closets having upon 
their doors closed locks, and over them were curtains worked 
with various kinds of embroidery. They opened one of these 
closets, and found it filled with weapons decorated with varie- 


ties of gold and silver and jewels. And they went thence to 
the fourth chamber, where also they found closets, one of 
which they opened, and they found it full of utensils for food 
and drink, consisting of various vessels of gold and silver, and 
saucers of crystal, and cups set with brilliant pearls, and cups 
of carnelian, and other things. So they began to take what 
suited them of those things, and each of the soldiers carried 
off what he could. And when they determined to go forth 
from those chambers, they saw there a door of saj inlaid with 
ivory and ebony, and adorned with plates of brilliant gold, in 
the midst of that palace. Over it was hung a curtain of silk 
worked with various kinds of embroidery, and upon it were 
locks of white silver, to be opened by artifice, without a key. 
The sheykh*Abd-Es-Samad therefore advanced to those locks, 
and he opened them by his knowledge and boldness and ex- 
cellent skill. And the party entered a passage paved with 
marble, upon the sides of which were curtains whereon were 
figured various wild beasts and birds, all these being worked 
with red gold and white silver, and their eyes were of pearls 
and jacinths: whosoever beheld them was confounded. Next 
they came to a saloon, on beholding which the Emir Musa 
and the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad were amazed at its con- 

They then passed on, and found a saloon constructed of 
polished marble adorned with jewels. The beholder imagined 
that upon its floor was running water, and if any one walked 
upon it he would slip. The Emir Musa therefore ordered the 
sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad to throw upon it something that they 
might be enabled to walk on it ; and he did this, and con- 
trived so that they passed on. And they found in it a great 
dome constructed of stones gilded with red gold. The party 
had not beheld, in all that they had seen, any thing more 
beautiful than it. And in the midst of that dome was a great 
dome-crowned structure of alabaster, around which were lat- 
tice-windows, decorated, and adorned with oblong emeralds, 
such as none of the Kings could procure. In it was a pa- 
vilion of brocade, raised upon columns of red gold, and within 
this were birds, the feet of which were of emeralds ; beneath 
each bird was a net of brilliant pearls, spread over a fountain ; 
and by the brink of the fountain was placed a couch adorned 


with pearls and jewels and jacinths, whereon was a damsel 
resembling the shining sun. Eyes had not beheld one more 
beautiful. Upon her was a garment of brilliant pearls, on her 
head was a crown of red gold, with a fillet of jewels, on her 
neck was a necklace of jewels in the middle of which were 
refulgent gems, and upon her forehead were two jewels the 
light of which was like that of the sun; and she seemed as 
though she were looking at the people, and observing them 
to the right and left. When the Emir Musa beheld this 
damsel, he wondered extremely at her loveliness, and was 
confounded by her beauty and the redness of her cheeks 
and the blackness of her hair. Any beholder would imagine 
that she was alive, and not dead. And they said to her, 
Peace be on thee, O damsel I But Talib the son of Sahl said 
to the Emir, May God amend thy state. Know that this 
damsel is dead. There is no life in her. How then can she 
return the salutation ? — And he added, O Emir, she is skil- 
fully embalmed; and her eyes have been taken out after her 
death, and quicksilver hath been put beneath them, after 
which they have been restored to their places ; so they gleam ; 
and whenever the air putteth them in motion, the beholder 
imagineth that she twinkleth her eyes, though she is dead. — 
Upon this the Emir Musa said, Extolled be the perfection of 
God, who hath subdued his servants by death ! — And as to the 
couch upon which was the damsel, it had steps, and upon the 
steps were two slaves, one of them white and the other black; 
and in the hand of one of them was a weapon of steel, and 
in the hand of the other a jewelled sword that blinded the 
eyes; and before the two slaves was a tablet of gold, whereon 
was read an inscription, which was this: — 

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be 
to God, the Creator of man ; and He is the Lord of lords, and the 
Cause of causes. In the name of God, the Everlasting, the Eternal : 
in the name of God, the Ordainer of fate and destiny. O son of 
Adam, how ignorant art thou in the long indulgence of hope ! and 
how unmindful art thou of the arrival of the predestined period 1 
Knowest thou not that death hath called for thee, and hath ad- 
vanced to seize thy soul? Be ready then for departure, and make 
provision in the world ; for thou wilt quit it soon. Where is Adam, 
the father of mankind? Where are Nuh and his offspring? 
W^here are the sovereign Kisras and Ca;sars? Where are the Kings 


of India and El-'Irak? Where are the Kings of the regions of 
the earth ? Where are the Amalekites ? Where are the mighty 
monarchs? The mansions are void of their presence, and they have 
quitted their families and home:. Wher? are the Kings of the 
foreigners and the Arabs? They have all died, and become rotten 
bones. Where are the lords of high degree? They have all died. 
Where are Karun and Haman ?® Where is Sheddad the son of 'Ad? 
Where are Ken'an and the Lord of the Stakes ?'* God hath cut 
them off, and it is He who cutteth short the lives of mankind, 
and He hath made the mansions to be void of their presence. Did 
they prepare provision for the day of resurrection, and make them- 
selves ready to reply to the Lord of men ? — O thou, if thou know 
me not, I will acquaint thee with my name and my descent. I am 
Tedmur, the daughter of the King of the Amalekites, of those who 
ruled the countries with equity. I possessed what none of the 
Kings possessed, and ruled with justice, and acted impartially towards 
my subjects: I gave and bestowed, and I lived a long time in the 
enjoyment of happiness and an easy life, and possessing emanci- 
pated female and male slaves. Thus I did until the summoner of 
death came to my abode, and disasters occurred before me. And 
the case was this : — Seven years in succession came upon us, dur- 
ing which no water descended on us from heaven, nor did any 
grass grow for us on the face of the earth. So we ate what food 
we had in our dwellings, and after that we fell upon the beasts 
and ate them, and there remained nothing. Upon this, therefore, 
I caused the wealth to be brought, and meted it with a measure, 
and sent it by trusty men, who went about with it through all the 
districts, not leaving unvisited a single large city, to seek for 
some food. But they found it not ; and they returned to us with 
the wealth, after a long absence. So thereupon we exposed to view 
our riches and our treasures, locked the gates of the fortresses in 
our city, and submitted ourselves to the decree of our Lord, com- 
mitting our case to our Master ; and thus we all died, as thou be- 
holdest, and left what we had built and what we had treasured. 
This is the story : and after the substance there remaineth not 
aught save the vestige. 

And they looked at the lower part of the tablet, and saw 
inscribed upon it these verses : — 

Child of Adam, let not hope make game of thee. From all that 
thy hands have treasured thou shalt be removed. 

I see thee desirous of the world and its embellishments; and the 
past generations have pursued the same course. 

They acquired wealth, both lawful and forbidden ; but it repelled 
not fate when the term expired : 

' Korah; Haman the chief minister of the Pharaoh of the oppression. 
See Kur'an, xxviii. 
"> Canaan and the Pharaoh of the oppression. 


They led troops in multitudes, and collected riches; and they left 

their wealth and buildings, and departed 
To the narrow graves, and lay down in the dust ; and there they 

have remained, pledged for their actions ; 
As if the company of travellers had put down their baggage during 

night in a house where was no food for guests. 
And its owner had said to them, O people, there is not any lodging 

for you in it. So they packed after alighting : 
And they all thereupon became fearful and timid : neither halting 

nor journeying was pleasant unto them. 
Then prepare good provision that will rejoice thee to-morrow; and 

act not save agreeably with the fear of thy Lord. 

And upon the tablet were also inscribed these words: — 

Whoso arriveth at our city, and entereth it, God facilitating his 
entrance into it, let him take of the wealth what he can, but not 
touch any thing that is on my body; for it is the covering of my 
person, and the attire with which I am fitted forth from the world. 
Therefore let him fear God, and not seize aught of it ; for he would 
destroy himself. I have caused this to be an admonition from me 
unto him, and a charge which I give him in confidence. And peace 
be on you ! I beg God, moreover, to save you from the evil of 
trials and sickness. 

The Emir Musa, when he heard these words, again wept 
so violently that he became insensible; and after he had re- 
covered, he wrote all that he saw, and was admonished by 
what he witnessed. He then said to his companions. Bring 
the sacks, and fill them with part of these riches and these 
vessels and rarities and jewels. And thereupon, Talib the son 
of Sahl said to the Emir Musa, O Emir, shall we leave this 
damsel with the things that are upon her? They are things 
that have no equal, nor is the like of them at any time found, 
and they are more than the riches thou hast taken, and will 
be the best present by which thou mayest ingratiate thyself 
with the Prince of the Faithful. — But the Emir replied, O 
thou, heardest thou not that which the damsel hath given as 
a charge, in the inscription upon this tablet? Moreover, and 
especially, she hath given it as a charge offered in confidence, 
and we are not of the people of treachery. — The Wezir Talib, 
however, said, And on account of these words wilt thou leave 
these riches and these jewels, when she is dead? What then 
should she do with these things, which are the ornaments of 


the world, and the decoration of the living? With a garment 
of cotton might this damsel be covered, and we are more 
worthy of the things than she. — Then he drew near to the 
steps, and ascended them until he reached the spot between 
the two men [the slaves before mentioned], when, lo, one of 
these two smote him upon his back, and the other smote him 
with the sword that was in his hand, and struck off his head, 
and he fell down dead. So the Emir Musa said. May God not 
regard with mercy thy resting-place ! There was, in these 
riches, a sufficiency ; and covetousness doth doubtlessly dis- 
honour the person in whom it existeth ! — He thereupon gave 
orders for the entry of the troops, who accordingly entered, 
and they loaded the camels with part of those riches and 
minerals; after which the Emir Musa commanded them to 
close the gate as it was before. 

They then proceeded along the sea-coast until they came 
in sight of a high rriountain overlooking the sea. In it were 
many caves, and, lo, in these was a people of the blacks, clad 
in hides, and with burnuses of hides upon their heads, whose 
language was not known. And when they saw the troops, 
they ran from them, and fled to those caves, while their 
women and their children stood at the entrances of the caves. 
So the Emir Musa said, O sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, what are 
these people? And he answered, These are the objects of 
the inquiry of the Prince of the Faithful. They therefore 
alighted, and the tents were pitched, and the riches were put 
down ; and they had not rested when the King of the blacks 
came down from the mountain, and drew near to the troops. 
He was acquainted with the Arabic language ; therefore, when 
he came to the Emir Musa, he saluted him ; and the Emir 
returned his salutation, and treated him with honour. Then 
the King of the blacks said to the Emir, Are ye of mankind, 
or the Jinij? The Emir answered. As to us, we are of 
mankind ; and as to you, there is no doubt but that ye are of 
the Jinn, because of your seclusion in this mountain that is 
separated from the world, and because of the greatness of 
your make. But the King of the blacks replied. Nay, we are 
a people of the race of Adam, of the sons of Ham the son 
•>of Nuh, on whom be peace ! And as to this sea, it is known 
by the name of El-Karkar. — So the Emir Musa said to him, 


And whence obtained ye knowledge, when there hath not 
come unto you any prophet divinely inspired in such a coun- 
try as this? He answered, Know, O Emir, that there ap- 
peareth unto us, from this sea, a person diffusing a light 
whereby the surrounding tracts are illuminated ; and he pro- 
claimeth, with a voice which the distant and the near hear, 
O sons of Ham, be abashed at Him who seeth and is not 
seen ; and say. There is no deity but God : Mohammad is the 
Apostle of God. And I am Abu-1-' Abbas El-Khidr. — Before 
that, we used to worship one another ; but he called us to the 
worship of the Lord of mankind. — Then he said to the Emir 
Musa, He hath also taught us some words to say. — And what, 
asked the Emir, are those words? He answered. They are 
these : — There is no deity but God alone : He hath no partner : 
to Him belongeth dominion, and to Him belongeth praise : 
He giveth life and killeth: and He is able to accomplish 
every thing. And we seek not access to God (to whom be 
ascribed might and glory!) save by these words, nor know 
we any others. Also, every night of Friday we see a light 
upon the face of the earth, and we hear a voice saying, 
Perfect! Holy! Lord of the Angels and the Spirit! What- 
soever God willeth cometh to pass, and what He willeth not 
cometh not to pass ! Every benefit from God is a gratuitous 
favour ! And there is no strength nor power but in God, 
the High, the Great ! 

The Emir Musa then said to him. We are the associates 
of the King of El-Islam, 'Abd-El-l\Ielik the son of Marwan ; 
and we have come on account of the bottles of brass that 
are here in your sea, and wherein are the devils imprisoned 
from the time of Suleyman the son of Da'ud (on both of 
whom be peace !). He hath commanded us to bring him some 
of them, that he may see them, and divert himself bv the view 
of them. — And the King of the blacks replied. Most willingly. 
Then he feasted him with fish, and ordered the divers to 
bring up from the sea some of the bottles of Suleyman ; and 
they brought up for them twelve bottles ; wherewith the Emir 
Musa was delighted, and the sheykh *Abd-Es-Samad also, and 
the soldiers, on account of the accomplishment of the affair of 
the Prince of the Faithful. The Emir Musa thereupon pre- 
sented to the King of the blacks many presents, and gave 


him large gifts. In like manner too the King of the blacks 
gave to the Emir Musa a present consisting of wonders of 
the sea, in the form of human beings, and said to him, Your 
entertainment for these three days shall be of these fish. And 
the Emir replied, We must carry with us some of them, that 
the Prince of the Faithful may see them; for thereby will 
his heart be pleased more than by the bottles of Suleyman. 

Then they bade him farewell, and they journeyed back 
until they came to the land of Syria, and went in to the 
Princeof the Faithful; whereupon the Emir Musa acquainted 
him with all that he had seen, and all that had occurred to 
him with respect to the verses and histories and admonitions, 
and told him of the case of Talib the son of Sahl. And the 
Prince of the Faithful; whereupon the Emir Musa acquainted 
with you, that I might have beheld what ye beheld ! He 
then took the bottles, and proceeded to open one after an- 
other, and the devils came forth from them, saying. Repent- 
ance, O Prophet of God ! We will not return to the like 
conduct ever ! — And 'Abd-El-Melik the son of Marwan won- 
dered at this. But as to the damsels of the sea, with the 
like of which the King of the blacks feasted them, they made 
for them troughs of wood, which they filled with water, and 
into these they put them. They died, however, in conse- 
quence of the intensity of the heat. After this, the Prince of 
the Faithful caused the riches to be brought before him, and 
divided them among the Muslims. And he said, God hath not 
bestowed upon any one the like of what He bestowed upon 
Suleyman the son of Da'ud. Then the Emir Musa begged 
the Prince of the Faithful that he might appoint his son in 
his place as Governor of the province, and that he might him- 
self go to the noble Jerusalem, there to worship God. So the 
Prince of the Faithful appointed his son to the government, 
and he himself went to the noble Jerusalem, and he died there. 

This is the end of that which hath come down to us, 
of the history of the City of Brass, entire. And God is 

[Nights 73^—75^1 
The Story of Jullanar of the Sea 

THERE was, in olden time, and in an ancient age and 
period, in the land of the Persians, a King named 
Shah-Zeman, and the place of his residence was Khu- 
rasan. He had a hundred concubines ; but he had not been 
blest, during his whole life, with a male child by any of them, 
nor a female ; and he reflected upon this, one day, and la- 
mented that the greater portion of his life had passed, and 
he had not been blessed with a male child to inherit the king- 
dom after him as he had inherited it from his fathers and 
forefathers. So the utmost grief, and violent vexation, befell 
him on this account. 

Now while he was sitting one day, one of his memluks 
came in to him, and said to him, O my lord, at the door is 
a slave-girl with a merchant: none more beautiful than she 
hath been seen. And he replied. Bring to me the merchant 
and the slave-girl. The merchant and the slave-girl there- 
fore came to him ; and when he saw her, he found her to 
resemble the Rudeyni' lance. She was wrapped in an izar 
of silk embroidered with gold, and the merchant uncovered 
her face, whereupon the place was illuminated by her beauty, 
and there hung down from her forehead seven locks of hair 
reaching to her anklets, like the tails of horses. She had eyes 
bordered with kohl, and heavy hips, and slender waist: she 
was such as would cure the malady of the sick, and extinguish 
the fire of the thirsty, and was as the poet hath said in these 
verses : — 

I am enamoured of her : she is perfect in beauty, and perfect also 

in gravity and in dignity. 
She is neither tall nor sliort ; but her hips are such that the izar is 

too narrow for them. 

^ Rudeyneh and her husband Semher, of Khatt Ilcjer, were famous lor 
making straight spear-sbafts. 



Her stature is a mean between the small and the large : so there is 
neither tallness nor shortness to find fault with. 

Her hair reacheth to her anklets, [and is black as night,] but her 
face is ever like the day. 

The King, therefore wondered at the sight of her, and at her 
beauty and lovehness, and her stature and justness of form; 
and he said to the merchant, O sheykh, for how much is this 
damsel to be sold? The merchant answered, O my lord, I 
purchased her for two thousand pieces of gold of the mer- 
chant who owned her before me, and I have been for three 
years travelling with her, and she hath cost, to the period of 
her arrival at this place, three thousand pieces of gold; and 
she is a present from me unto thee. Upon this, the King con- 
ferred upon him a magnificent robe of honour, and gave 
orders to present him with ten thousand pieces of gold. So 
he took them, and kissed the hands o^ the King, thanking him 
for his bounty and beneficence, and departed. Then the King 
committed the damsel to the tirewomen, saying to them. 
Amend the state of this damsel, and deck her, and furnish 
for her a private chamber, and take her into it. He also 
gave orders to his chamberlains that every thing which she 
required should be conveyed to her. The seat of government 
where he resided was on the shore of the sea, and his city 
was called the White City. And they conducted the damsel 
into a private chamber, which chamber had windows over- 
looking the sea ; and the King commanded his chamberlains 
to close all the doors upon her after taking to her all that 
she required. 

The King then went in to visit the damsel ; but she rose 
not to him, nor took any notice of him. So the King said, It 
seemeth that she hath been with people who have not taught 
her good manners. And looking at the damsel, he saw her 
to be a person surpassing in beauty and loveliness, and in 
stature and justness of form ; her face was like the disk of 
the moon at the full, or the shining sun in the clear sky ; and 
he wondered at her beauty and loveliness, and stature and 
justness of form, extolling the perfection of God, the Creator: 
lauded be his power ! Then the King advanced to the damsel, 
and seated himself by her side, pressed her to his bosom, and 
seated her upon his thigh; and he kissed her lips, which he 


found to be sweeter than honey. After this, he gave orders 
to bring tables of the richest viands, comprising dishes of 
every kind; and the King ate, and put morsels into her mouth 
until she was satisfied, but she spoke not a single word. The 
King talked to her, and inquired of her her name ; but she 
was silent, not uttering a word, nor returning him an answer, 
ceasing not to hang down her head towards the ground; and 
what protected her from the anger of the King was the ex- 
cess of her beauty and loveliness, and her tenderness of man- 
ner. So the King said within himself. Extolled be the per- 
fection of God, the Creator of this damsel ! How elegant is 
she, saving that she doth not speak ! But perfection belongeth 
unto God, whose name be exalted ! — Then the King asked the 
female slaves whether she had spoken ; and they answered 
him, From the time of her arrival to the present moment she 
hath not spoken one word, and we have not heard her talk. 
The King therefore caused some of the female slaves and 
concubines to come, and ordered them to sing to her, and to 
make merry with her, thinking that then she might perhaps 
speak. Accordingly the female slaves and concubines played 
before her with all kinds of musical instruments, and enacted 
sports and other performances, and they sang so that every 
one who was present was moved with delight, except the 
damsel, who looked at them and was silent, neither laughing 
nor speaking. So the heart of the King was contracted. He 
however inclined to her entirely, paying no regard to others, 
but relinquishing all the rest of his concubines and favourites. 
He remained with her a whole year, which seemed as one 
day, and still she spoke not ; and he said to her one day, when 
his love of her, and his passion, were excessive, O desire of 
souls, verily the love that I have for thee is great, and I have 
relinquished for thy sake all my female slaves, and the 
concubines and the women and the favourites, and made thee 
my worldly portion, and been patient with thee a whole year. 
I beg God (whose name be exalted!) that He will, in his 
grace, soften thy heart towards me, and that thou mayest 
speak to me. Or, if thou be dumb, inform me by a sign, that 
I may give up hope of thy speaking. I also beg of God 
(whose perfection be extolled!) that He will bless me by 
thee with a male child that may inherit my kingdom after me ; 


for I am single and solitary, having none to be my heir, and 
my age hath become great. I conjure thee then by Allah, if 
thou love me, that thou return me a reply. — And upon this, 
the damsel hung down her head towards the ground, medi- 
tating. Then she raised her head, and smiled in the face of 
the King, whereat it appeared to the King that lightning 
filled the private chamber; and she said, O magnanimous 
King, and bold lion, God hath answered thy prayer ; for I am 
about to bear thee issue, and the time is [almost] come. 
But I know not whether the child is male or female. And 
were it not for my being in this state, I had not spoken to 
thee one word. — And when the King heard what she said, his 
face brightened up with joy and happiness, and he kissed her 
head and her hands by reason of the violence of his joy, and 
said, Praise be to God who hath favoured me with things that 
I desired; the first, thy speaking; and the second, thy infor- 
mation that thou art about to bear me issue. Then the King 
arose and went forth from her, and seated himself upon the 
throne of his kingdom in a state of exceeding happiness ; and 
he ordered the Wczir to give out to the poor and the needy 
and the widows and others a hundred thousand pieces of gold 
as a thank-offering to God (whose name be exalted!) and an 
alms on his part. So the Wezir did as the King had com- 
manded him. And after that, the King went in to the damsel, 
and sat with her, and embraced her and pressed her to his 
bosom, saying to her, O my mistress, who ownest me as thy 
slave, wherefore hath been this silence, seeing that thou hast 
been with me a whole year, night and day, awake and asleep, 
yet hast not spoken to me during this year except on this 
day? What then hath been the cause of thy silence? 

The damsel answered. Hear, O King of the age, and know 
that I am a poor person, a stranger, broken-hearted: I have 
become separated from my mother and my family and my 
brother. And when the King heard her words, he knew her 
desire, and he replied, As to thy saying that thou art poor, 
there is no occasion for such an assertion ; for all my kingdom 
and my goods and possessions are at thy service, and I also 
have become thy memluk: and as to thy saying, I have be- 
come separated from my mother and my family and my 
brother — inform me in what place they are, and I will send 


to them, and bring them to thee. So she said to him, Know, 
O fortunate King, that my name is Jullanar of the Sea. My 
father was one of the Kings of the Sea, and he died, and 
left to us the kingdom; but while we were enjoying it, one 
of the Kings came upon us, and took the kingdom from our 
hands. I have also a brother named Salih, and my mother is 
of the women of the sea; and I quarrelled with my brother, 
and swore that I would throw myself into the hands of a man 
of the inhabitants of the land. Accordingly I came forth from 
the sea, and sat upon the shore of an island in the moon- 
light, and there passed by me a man who took me and con- 
ducted me to his abode, and desired to make me his concubine; 
but I smote him upon his head, and he almost died ; where- 
fore he went and sold me to this man from whom thou tookest 
me, and he was an excellent, virtuous man, a person of re- 
ligion and fidelity and kindness. But had not thy heart loved 
me, and hadst thou not preferred me above all thy concubines, 
I had not remained with thee one hour ; for I should have 
cast myself into the sea from this window, and gone to my 
mother and my people. I was ashamed, however, to go to 
them in the state in which I am ; for they would imagine evil 
of me, and would not believe me, even though I should 
swear to them, were I to tell them that a King had pur- 
chased me with his money, and had made me his worldly 
portion, and chosen me in preference to his wives and all 
that his right hand possessed. This is my story, and peace 
be on thee ! — And when he heard her words, he thanked 
her, and kissed her between her eyes, and said to her. By 
Allah, O my mistress, and light of my eyes, I cannot endure 
thy separation for one hour; and if thou quit me, I shall die 
instantly. How then shall the affair be? — She answered, O 
my master, the time of the birth is near, and my family 
must come. — And how, said the King, do they walk in the 
sea without being wetted? She answered, \\*e walk in the 
sea as ye walk upon the land, through the influence of the 
names engraved upon the seal of Suleyman the son of 
Da'ud, upon both of whom be peace ! But, O King, when 
my family and my brethren come, I will inform them that 
thou boughtest me with thy money, and hast treated me with 
kindness and beneficence, and it will be meet that thou con- 


firm my assertion to them. They will also see thy state with 
their eyes, and will know that thou art a King, the son of 
a King. — And thereupon the King said, O my mistress, do 
what seemeth fit to thee, and what thou wishest; for I will 
comply with thy desire in all that thou wilt do. And the 
damsel said, Know, O King of the age, that we walk in 
the sea with our eyes open, and see what is in it, and we 
see the sun and the moon and the stars and the sky as on 
the face of the earth, and this hurteth us not.^ Know also, 
that in the sea are many peoples and various forms of all the 
kinds that are on the land; and know, moreover, that all 
that is on the land, in comparison with what is in the sea, is 
a very small matter. — And the King wondered at her words. 
Then the damsel took forth from her shoulders two pieces 
of Kamari aloes-wood, and took a bit of them, and, having 
lighted a fire in a perfuming-vessel, threw into it that bit, 
and she uttered a loud whistle, and proceeded to speak 
words which no one understood ; whereupon a great smoke 
arose, while the King looked on. After this, she said to 
the King, O my lord, arise and conceal thyself in a closet, 
that I may shew thee my brother and my mother and my 
family without their seeing thee; for I desire to bring them, 
and thou shalt see in this place, at this time, a wonder, and 
shalt wonder at the various shapes and strange forms that 
God (whose name be exalted!) hath created. So the King 
arose immediately, and entered a closet, and looked to see 
what she would do. And she proceeded to burn perfume 
and repeat spells until the sea foamed and was agitated, and 
there came forth from it a young man of comely form, of 
beautiful countenance, like the moon at the full, with shining 
forehead, and red cheek, and hair resembling pearls and 
jewels; he was, of all the creation, the most like to his 
sister, and the tongue of the case itself seemed to recite in 
his praise these verses: — 

The moon becometh perfect once in each month ; but the loveliness 

of thy face is perfect every day. 
Its abode is in the heart of one sign at a time ; but thine abode is 

in all hearts at once. 

• These people are perhaps the Ghawwasah, or Divers and Plungers, an 
inferior class of the Jinn. 


Afterwards, there came forth from the sea a grizzly-haired 
old woman, and with her five damsels, resembling moons, 
and bearing a likeness to the damsel whose name was 
Jullanar. Then the King saw the young man and the old 
woman and the damsels walk upon the surface of the water 
until they came to the damsel Jullanar ; and when they drew 
near to the window, and Jullanar beheld them, she rose to 
them and met them with joy and happiness. On their seeing 
her, they knew her, and they went in to her and embraced 
her, weeping violently; and they said to her, O Jullanar, how 
is it that thou leavest us for four years, and we know not 
the place in which thou art? By Allah, the world was con- 
tracted unto us, by reason of the distress occasioned by thy 
separation, and we had no delight in food nor in drink a 
single day, weeping night and day on account of the excess 
of our longing to see thee. — Then the damsel began to kiss 
the hand of the young man her brother, and the hand of her 
mother, and so also the hands of the daughters of her uncle, 
and they sat with her a while, asking her respecting her 
state, and the things that had happened to her, and her 
present condition. 

So she said to them. Know ye, that when I quitted you, 
and came forth from the sea, I sat upon the shore of an 
island, and a man took me, and sold me to a merchant, and 
the merchant brought me to this city, and sold me to its 
King for ten thousand pieces of gold. Then he treated me 
with attention, and forsook all his concubines and his women 
and his favourites for my sake, and was diverted by his 
regard for me from every thing that he possessed and what 
was in his city. — And when her brother heard her words, he 
said. Praise be to God who hath reunited us with thee! 
But it is my desire, O my sister, that thou wouldst arise and 
go with us to our country and our family. — So when the 
King heard the words of her brother, his reason fled in 
consequence of his fear lest the damsel should accept the 
proposal of her brother, and he could not prevent her, 
though he was inflamed with love of her; wherefore he 
became perplexed, in violent fear of her separation. But 
as to the damsel Jullanar, on hearing the words of her 
brother, she said, By Allah, O my brother, the man who 


purchased me is the King of this city, and he is a great 
King, and a man of wisdom, generous, of the utmost 
Hberality. He hath treated me with honour, and he is a 
person of kindness, and of great weakh, but hath no male 
child nor a female. He hath shewn favour to me, and 
acted well to mc in every respect ; and from the day when 
I came to him to the present time, I have not heard from 
him a bad word to grieve my heart; but he hath not ceased 
to treat me with courtesy, and hath done nothing without 
consulting me, and I am living with him in the best of 
states, and the most perfect of enjoyments. Moreover, if I 
quitted him, he would perish : for he can never endure my 
separation even for a single hour. I also, if I quitted him, 
should die, by reason of the violence of my love for him in 
consequence of the excess of his kindness to me during the 
period of my residence with him ; for if my father were 
living, my condition with him would not be like my condition 
with this great, glorious King. Ye have seen, too, that I am 
about to bear him issue ; and praise be to God who hath 
made me to be a daughter of a King of the Sea, and my 
husband the greatest of the Kings of the Land. God (whose 
name be exalted!) afflicted me not, but compensated me 
well ; and as the King hath not a male child nor a female, 
I beg God (whose name be exalted!) to bless me with a 
male child that may inherit of this great King these buildings 
and palaces and possessions of which God hath made him 
owner. — And when her brother and the daughters of her 
uncle heard her words, their eyes became cheerful thereat, 
and they said to her, O Jullanar, thou knowest the place 
which thou hast in our estimation, and art acquainted with 
our affection for thee, and thou art assured that thou art the 
dearest of all persons to us, and art certain that we desire 
for thee comfort, without trouble or toil. Therefore if thou 
be not in a state of comfort, arise and accompany us to our 
country and our family; but if thou be comfortable here, in 
honour and happiness, this is our desire and wish; for we 
desire not aught save thy comfort in every respect, — And 
Jullanar replied. By Allah, I am in a state of the utmost 
comfort and enjoyment, in honour and desirable happiness. 
So when the King heard these words from her, he rejoiced. 


and his heart became tranquillized, and he thanked her for 
them ; his love for her increased, and penetrated to his 
heart's core, and he knew that she loved him as he loved 
her, and that she desired to remain with him to see his 
child which she was to bear him. 

Then the damsel Jullanar of the Sea gave orders to the 
female slaves to bring forward the tables and the viands of all 
kinds; and Jullanar herself was the person who superintended 
the preparation of the viands in the kitchen. So the female 
slaves brought to them the viands and the sweetmeats and 
the fruits; and she ate with her family. But afterwards they 
said to her, O Jullanar, thy master is a man who is a stranger 
to us, and we have entered his abode without his permission 
and without his knowledge of us, and thou praisest to us his 
excellence, and hast also brought to us his food, and we 
have eaten, but have not had an interview with him, nor 
seen him, nor hath he seen us, nor come into our presence, 
nor eaten with us, that the bond of bread and salt might be 
established between us. And they all desisted from eating, 
and were enraged at her, and fire began to issue from their 
mouths as from cressets. So when the King beheld this, 
his reason fled, in consequence of the violence of his fear 
of them. Then Jullanar rose to them, and soothed their 
hearts ; after which she walked along until she entered the 
closet in which was the King her master; and she said to 
him, O my master, didst thou see, and didst thou hear my 
thanks to thee, and my praise of thee in the presence of 
my family ; and didst thou hear what they said to me, that 
they desired to take me with them to our family and our 
country? The King answered her, I heard and saw. May 
God recompense thee for us well ! By Allah, I knew not 
the extent of the love that thou feelest for me until this 
blessed hour, and I doubt not of thy love for me. — She 
replied, O my master, is the recompense of beneficence 
aught but beneficence? Thou hast treated me with 
beneficence, and bestowed upon me great favours, and I 
see that thou lovest me with the utmost love, and thou hast 
shewn me every kindness, and preferred mc above all whom 
thou lovest and dcsircst. How then could my heart be 
happy to quit thee, and to depart from thee ; and how 


could that be when thou bestowest benefits and favours 
upon me? Now I desire of thy goodness that thou come 
and salute my family, and see them, and that they may see 
thee, and that pleasure and mutual friendship may ensue. 
But know, O King of the age, that my brother and my 
mother and the daughters of my uncle have conceived a 
great love for thee in consequence of my praising thee to 
them, and they have said, We will not depart from thee 
to our country until we have an interview with the King, 
and salute him. So they desire to behold thee, and to 
become familiar with thee. — And the King said to her, I 
hear and obey ; for this is what I desire. He then rose 
from his place, and went to them, and saluted them with 
the best salutation ; and they hastened to rise to him ; they 
met him in the most polite manner, and he sat with them 
in the pavilion, ate with them at the table, and remained 
with them for a period of thirty days. Then they desired 
to return to their country and abode. So they took leave 
of the King, and the Queen Jullanar of the Sea, and 
departed from them, after the King had treated them with 
the utmost honour. 

After this, Jullanar fulfilled her period, and she gave 
birth to a boy, resembling the moon at the full, whereat 
the King experienced the utmost happiness, because he had 
not before been blest with a son nor a daughter during his 
life. They continued the rejoicings, and the decorations [of 
the city], for a period of seven days, in the utmost happiness 
and enjoyment; and on the seventh day, the mother of the 
Queen Jullanar, and her brother, and the daughters of her 
uncle, all came, when they knew that Jullanar had given 
birth to her child. The King met them, rejoicing at their 
arrival, and said to them, I said I would not name my 
son until ye should come, and that ye should name him 
according to your knowledge. And they named him Bedr 
Basim; all of them agreeing as to this name. They then 
presented the boy to his maternal uncle, Salih, who took 
him upon his hands, and, rising with him from among them, 
walked about the palace to the right and left ; after which, 
he went forth with him from the palace, descended with 
him to the sea, and walked on until he became concealed 


from the eye of the King. So when the King saw that he 
had taken his son, and disappeared from him at the bottom 
of the sea, he despaired of him, and began to weep and 
wail. But Jullanar, seeing him in this state, said to him, 

King of the age, fear not nor grieve for thy son; for 

1 love my child more than thou, and my child is with my 
brother; therefore care not for the sea, nor fear his being 
drowned. If my brother knew that any injury would betide 
the little one, he had not done what he hath done; and 
presently he will bring thee thy son safe, if it be the will of 
God, whose name be exalted ! — And but a short time had 
elapsed when the sea was agitated and disturbed, and the 
uncle of the little one came forth from it, having with him 
the King's son safe, and he flew from the sea until he came 
to them, with the little one on his arms, silent, and his face 
resembling the moon in the night of its fulness. Then the 
imcle of the little one looked towards the King, and said 
to him, Perhaps thou fearedst some injury to thy son when 
I descended into the sea, having him with me. So he 
replied. Yes, O my master, I feared for him, and I did not 
imagine that he would ever come forth from it safe. And 
Salih said to him, O King of the Land, we applied to his 
eyes a collyrium that we know, and repeated over him the 
names engraved upon the seal of Suleyman the son of Da'ud 
(on both of whom be peace!); for when a child is born 
among us, we do to him as I have told thee. Fear not 
therefore, on his account, drowning, nor suffocation, nor all 
the seas if he descend unto them. Like as ye walk upon 
the land, we walk in the sea. 

He then took forth from his pocket a case, written upon, 
and sealed; and he broke its seal, and scattered its contents, 
whereupon there fell from it strung jewels, consisting of all 
kinds of jacinths and other gems, together with three 
hundred oblong emeralds, and three hundred oblong large 
jewels, of the size of the eggs of the ostrich, the light of 
which was more resplendent than the light of the sun and 
the moon. And he said, O King of the age, these jewels 
and jacinths are a present from me unto thee; for we never 
brought thee a present, because we knew not the place of 
Jullanar's abode, nor were acquainted with any trace or 


tidings of her. So when we saw thee to have become 
united to her, and that we all had become one, we brought 
thee this present ; and after every period of a few days, we 
will bring thee the like of it, if it be the will of God, whose 
name be exalted! For these jewels and jacinths with us 
are more plentiful than the gravel upon the land, and we 
know the excellent among them, and the bad, and all the 
ways to them, and the places where they are found, and 
they are easy of access to us. — And when the King looked 
at those jewels and jacinths, his reason was confounded and 
his mind was bewildered, and he said, By Allah, one of 
these jewels is worth my kingdom ! Then the King thanked 
Salih of the Sea for his generosity, and, looking towards the 
Queen JuUanar, he said to her, I am abashed at thy brother; 
for he hath shewn favour to me, and presented me with this 
magnificent present, which the people of the earth would 
fail to procure. So Jullanar thanked her brother for that 
which he had done; but her brother said, O King of the 
age, thou hadst a prior claim upon us, and to thank thee 
hath been incumbent on us ; for thou hast treated my sister 
with beneficence, and we have entered thine abode, and 
eaten of thy provision ; and the poet hath said, — 

Had / wept before she did, in my passion for So'da, I had healed 

my soul before repentance came. 
But she wept before / did : her tears drew mine ; and I said, The 

merit belongs to the precedent. 

Then Salih said, If we stood serving thee, O King of the 
age, a thousand years, regarding nothing else, we could not 
requite thee, and our doing so would be but a small thing 
in comparison with thy desert. — The King therefore thanked 
him eloquently. And Salih remained with the King, he 
and his mother and the daughters of his uncle, forty days; 
after which he arose and kissed the ground before the King, 
the husband of his sister. So the King said to him. What 
dost thou desire, O Salih? And he answered, O King of 
the age, thou hast conferred favours upon us, and we desire 
of thy goodness that thou wouldst grant us a boon, and give 
us permission to depart ; for we have become desirous of 
seeing again our family and our country and our relations 
and our homes. We will not, however, relinquish the 


service of thee, nor that of my sister nor the son of my 
sister ; and by Allah, O King of the age, to quit you is not 
pleasant to my heart ; but how can we act, when we have 
been reared in the sea, and the land is not agreeable to us? 
— So when the King heard his words, he rose upon his feet, 
and bade farewell to Salih of the Sea and his mother and 
the daughters of his uncle, and they wept together on 
account of the separation. Then they said to the King, In 
a short time we shall be with you, and we will never 
relinquish you, but after every period of a few days we will 
visit you. And after this, they flew towards the sea, and 
descended into it, and disappeared. 

The King treated Jullanar with beneficence, and honoured 
her exceedingly, and the little one grew up well ; and his 
maternal uncle, with his grandmother and the daughters of 
his uncle, after every period of a few days used to come to 
the residence of the King, and to remain with him a month, 
and two months, and then return to their places. The boy 
ceased not, with increase of age, to increase in beauty and 
loveliness until his age became fifteen years ; and he was 
incomparable in his perfect beauty, and his stature and his 
justness of form. He had learned writing and reading, and 
history and grammar and philology, and archery ; and he 
learned to play with the spear ; and he also learned horse- 
manship, and all that the sons of the Kings required. There 
was not one of the children of the inhabitants of the city, 
men and women, that talked not of the charms of that 
young man ; for he was of surpassing loveliness and per- 
fection ; and the King loved him greatly. Then the King 
summoned the Wezir and the emirs, and the lords of the 
empire, and the great men of the kingdom, and made them 
swear by binding oaths that they would make Bedr Basim 
King over them after his father ; so they swore to him by 
binding oaths, and rejoiced thereat; and the King himself 
was beneficent to the people, courteous in speech, of auspi- 
cious aspect, saying nothing but what was for the good of 
the people. And on the following day, the King mounted, 
together with the lords of the empire and all the emirs, and all 
the soldiers walked with him through the city and returned; 
and when they drew near to the palace, the King dismounted 


to wait upon his son, and he and all the emirs and the lords 
of the empire bore the ghashiyeh before him. Each one of 
the emirs and the lords of the empire bore the ghashiyeh a 
while ; and they ceased not to proceed until they arrived at the 
vestibule of the palace: the King's son riding. Thereupon 
he alighted, and his father embraced him, he and the emirs, 
and they seated him upon the throne of the kingdom, while 
his father stood, as also did the emirs, before him. Then 
Bedr Basim judged the people, displaced the tyrannical and 
invested the just, and continued to give judgment until near 
midday, when he rose from the throne of the kingdom, and 
went in to his mother Jullanar of the Sea, having upon his 
head the crown, and resembling the moon. So when his 
mother saw him, and the King before him, she rose to him 
and kissed him, and congratulated him on his elevation to 
the dignity of Sultan; and she offered up a prayer in favour 
of him and his father for length of life, and victory over 
their enemies. He then sat wnth his mother and rested; 
and when the time of afternoon-prayers arrived, he rode 
with the emirs before him until he came to the horse-course, 
where he played with arms till the time of nightfall, together 
with his father and the lords of his empire ; after which 
he returned to the palace, wnth all the people before him. 
Every day he used to ride to the horse-course; and when 
he returned, he sat to judge the people, and administered 
justice between the emir and the poor man. He ceased 
not to do thus for a whole year; and after that, he used to 
ride to the chase, and to go about through the cities and 
provinces that were under his rule, making proclamation 
of safety and security, and doing as do the Kings; and he 
was incomparable among the people of his age in glory and 
courage, and in justice to the people. 

Now it came to pass that the old King, the father «f 
Bedr Basim, fell sick one day, whereupon his heart throbbed, 
and he felt that he was about to be removed to the mansion 
of eternity. Then his malady increased so that he was at 
the point of death. He therefore summoned his son, and 
charged him to take care of his subjects and his mother and 
all the lords of his empire and all the dependants. He also 
made them swear, and covenanted with them, that they 



would obey his son, a second time; and he confided in 
their oaths. And after this, he remained a few days, and 
was admitted to the mercy of God, whose name be exalted ! 
His son Bedr Basim, and his wife Jullanar, and the emirs 
and wezirs and the lords of the empire, mourned over him ; 
and they made for him a tomb, and buried him in it, and 
continued the ceremonies of mourning for him a whole 
month. Salih, the brother of Jullanar, and her mother, and 
the daughters of her uncle, also came, and consoled them 
for the loss of the King; and they said, O Jullanar, if the 
King hath died, he hath left this ingenuous youth, and he 
who hath left such as he is hath not died. This is he who 
hath not an equal, the crushing lion, and the splendid moon. 
— Then the lords of the empire, and the grandees, went in 
to the King Bedr Basim, and said to him, O King, there is 
no harm in mourning for the King; but mourning becometh 
not any save women; therefore trouble not thy heart and 
ours by mourning for thy father, for he hath died and left 
thee, and he who hath left such as thou art hath not died. 
They proceeded to address him with soft words, and to 
console him, and after that they conducted him into the 
bath ; and when he came forth from the bath, he put on a 
magnificent suit woven of gold, adorned with jewels and 
jacinths, and he put the royal crown upon his head, seated 
himself upon the throne of his kingdom, and performed the 
affairs of the people, deciding equitably between the strong 
and the weak, and exacting for the poor man his due from 
the emir; wherefore the people loved him exceedingly. 
Thus he continued to do so for the space of a whole year; 
and after every short period, his family of the sea visited 
him; so his life was pleasant, and his eye was cheerful: and 
he ceased not to live in this state for a length of time. 


The Story of 'Ala-ed-Din and the 
Wonderful Lamp 

I HAVE heard, O King of the Age, that there dwelt in a 
city of China a poor tailor who had a son named 'Ala-ed- 
Din. Now this boy had been a scatter-brained scapegrace 
from his birth. And when he had come to his tenth year his 
father wished to teach him a handicraft ; and being too poor 
to afford to spend money on him for learning an art or craft 
or business, he took him into his own shop to learn his trade 
of tailoring. But 'Ala-ed-Din, being a careless boy, and 
always given to playing with the urchins of the street, would 
not stay in the shop a single day, but used to watch till his 
father went out on business or to meet a customer, and then 
would run off to the gardens along with his fellow-raga- 
muffins. Such was his case. He would neither obey his 
parents_ni)xJeam^ tradej till his father, for very sorrow and 
grief over his son's misdoing, fell sick and died. But 'Ala-ed- 
Din went on in the same way. And when his mother per- 
ceived that her husband was dead, and that her son was an 
idler of no use whatever, she sold the shop and all its con- 
tents, and took to spinning cotton to support herself and her 
good-for-nothing son. Meanwhile^ 'Ala-ed-Din, freed from 
the control of his father, grew more idle and disreputable, 
and would not stay at home except for meals, while his 
poor unfortunate mother subsisted by the spinning of her 
hands; and so it was, until he had come to his fifteenth 

One day, as 'Ala-ed-Din was sitting in the street playing 
with the gutter-boys, a Moorish Darwish came along, and 
stood looking at them, and began to scrutinise *Ala-ed-Din 
and closely examine his appearance, apart from his cum- 



panions. Now this Darwish was from the interior of Bar- 
bary, and was a sorcerer who could heap mountain upon 
mountain by his spells, and who knew astrology. And 
when he had narrowly scrutinised 'Ala-ed-Din, he said 
within himself: "Verily this is the youth I need, and in 
quest of whom I left my native land." And he took one of 
the boys aside and asked him concerning 'Ala-ed-Din, whose 
son he was, and wanted to know all about him. After which, 
he went up to 'Ala-ed-Din, and took him aside, and said: 
"Boy, art thou not the son of such a one, the tailor?" And 
he answered: "Yes, O my master; but as to my father, he 
has long been dead." When the Moorish sorcerer heard 
this, he fell upon 'Ala-ed-Din, and embraced him and kissed 
him and wept till the tears ran down his cheeks. And when 
*Ala-ed Din saw the state of the Moor, wonder seized upon 
him, and he asked him and said: "Why dost thou weep, O 
my master? and how knowest thou my father?" And the 
Moor replied in a low and broken voice : "My boy, how 
dost thou ask me this question after thou hast told me that 
thy father, my brother is dead? For thy father was my 
brother, and I have journeyed from my country, and I 
rejoiced greatly in the hope of seeing him again, after my 
long exile, and cheering him ; and now thou hast told me 
he is dead. But our blood hideth not from me that thou 
art my brother's son, and I recognised thee amongst all the 
boys, although thy father was not yet married when I parted 
from him. And now, O my son, 'Ala-ed-Din, I have missed 
the obesquies, and been deprived of the delight of meeting 
thy father, my brother, whom I had looked to see again, 
after my long absence, before I die. Separation caused me 
this grief, and created man hath no remedy or subterfuge 
against the decrees of God the most High." And he took 
'Ala-cd-Din and said to him: "O my son, there remaineth 
no comfort to me but in thee; thou standest in thy father's 
place, since thou art his successor, and ' whoso leaveth issue 
doth not die,' O my son." And the sorcerer stretched forth 
his hand and took ten gold pieces, and gave them to 'Ala- 
ed-Din, saying to him: "O my son, where is thy house, 
and where is thy mother, my brother's widow?" So 'Ala- 
ed-Din shewed him the way to their house, and the sorcerer 


said to him : "O my son, take this money, and give it to 
thy mother, and salute her from me, and tell her that thy 
uncle hath returned from his exile, and, God willing, will 
visit her to-morrow to greet her and to see the house where 
my brother lived and the place where he is buried." So 
'Ala-ed-Din kissed the hand of the Moor, and went, running 
in his joy, to his mother's, and entered, contrary to his 
custom, for he was not wont to come home save at meal 
times. And when he was come in he cried out in his joy: 
"O my mother, I bring thee good news of my uncle, who 
hath returned from his exile, and saluteth thee." And she 
said: "O my son, dost thou mock me? Who is this uncle 
of thine, and how hast thou an uncle at all?" And 'Ala- 
ed-Din answered : "O my mother, how canst thou say that 
I have no uncles or kinsmen living, when this man is my 
uncle on my father's side, and he hath embraced and kissed 
me and wept over me, and told me to make this known to 
thee!" And she said: "O my son, I kn5w indeed that 
thou didst have an uncle, but he is dead, and I know not 
any other that thou hast." 

On the morrow the Moorish sorcerer went out to seek 
*Ala-ed-Din, for his heart could not bear parting from him ; 
and as he wandered in the streets of the city, he met him 
disporting himself as usual along with the other vagabonds, 
and, approaching, he took him by the hand and embraced 
and kissed him, and took from his purse ten gold pieces, 
and said : "Haste thee to thy mother and give her these 
gold pieces, and tell her, *My uncle would fain sup with us; 
so take these pieces and make ready for us a good supper.' 
But first of all, shew me again the way to your home." And 
*Ala-ed-Din replied: "On the head and eye, O my uncle." 
And he went before him and shewed him the way home. 
So the Moor left him and went his way; while *Ala-ed-Din 
went home and told his mother, and gave her the gold 
pieces, and said his uncle would fain take supper with them. 
So she arose forthwith and went to the market and bought 
what she needed, and returning home she set about making 
ready for the supper. And she borrowed from her neighbours 
what she needed of dishes and the rest, and when the time 
came for supper she said to her son: "Supper is ready, but 


perhaps thy uncle doth not know the way to the house ; go 
therefore, and meet him on the road." And he answered, 
"I hear and obey." And whilst they were talking, a knock 
came at the door, and when 'Ala-ed-Din opened, behold, 
there was the Moorish wizard, with a eunuch carrying wine 
and fruit. And 'Ala-ed-Din brought them in, and the 
eunuch departed; but the Moor entered and saluted the 
mother, and began weeping and asking her questions, as, 
"Where is the place where my brother sat?" And when 
she shewed him her husband's seat, he went to it and 
prostrated himself and kissed the ground, and cried: "Ah, 
how small is my satisfaction and how cruel my fate, since I 
have lost thee, O my brother, O apple of my eye !" And 
he went on in this manner, weeping and wailing, until 
'Ala-ed-Din's mother was assured that it was true, for verijy 
he had swooned from the violence of his grief. And she 
raised him up from the ground and said: "What benefit is 
there in killing thyself?" And she comforted him, and 
seated him. And after he was seated and before the supper- 
tray was served, the Moor began talking with her, and said: 
"O wife of my brother, let it not amaze thee that in all thy 
life thou hast neither seen me nor heard of me in the days 
of my departed brother ; for it is forty years since I left this 
city and banished myself from my birthplace and wandered 
throughout the countries of India and China and Arabia, 
and came to Egypt and abode in its glorious capital, which 
is one of the wonders of the world, until at length I jour- 
neyed to the interior of the West and abode there for the 
space of thirty years. One day, O wife of my brother, I was 
sitting thinking of my native land and my birthplace and my 
blessed brother, and my longing to see him grew stronger, 
and I wept and wailed over my separation and distance from 
him. And at last my yearning made me determine to journey 
to this country, which is the pillow of my head and my birth- 
place, for to see my brother. For I said to myself: 'O man, 
how long wilt thou abandon thy country and thy native 
place, when thou hast but one brother and no more? So 
rise and journey and see him ere thou die; for who can tell 
the calamities of this world and the chances of life? And 
it would be a sore grief to die without seeing thy brother. 


Moreover, God (praised be his name!) hath given thee 
abundant wealth, and perchance thy brother may be in 
distress and poverty, and thou canst succour him as well 
as look upon him.' Therefore I arose and made ready for 
the journey, and recited the Fatihah, and when the Friday 
prayers were over, I departed and came to this city, after 
many troubles and difficulties, which I endured by the help 
of God. So I arrived here, and the day before yesterday, 
as I roamed about the streets, I perceived thy son *Ala-ed- 
Din playing with the boys, and by Almighty God, O wife of 
my brother, hardly had I seen him, when my heart went out 
to him (for blood is loving to its like), and my heart told 
me that he was my brother's son. And I forgot my troubles 
and anxieties as soon as I saw him, and could have flown 
for joy, until he told me of the death of him who is gathered 
to the mercy of God most High; whereat I swooned for 
heaviness of grief and regret. But 'Ala-ed-Din hath doubt- 
less informed thee of my tribulation. Yet am I comforted 
in part by this child^ who hath been bequeathed to us by the 
departed. Verily, 'he who leaveth issue doth not die.' " 

And when he saw that she wept at his words, he turned 
to 'Ala-ed-Din, to divert her from the thought of her hus- 
band; and to cgn^le^he:^ and perfect his deception, he said, 
"O my son 'Ala-ed-Din, what crafts has thou learned and 
what is thy trade ? Hast thou learned a craft to support thee 
withal, thyself and thy mother?" And *Ala-ed-Din was 
ashamed and hung down his head in confusion, and bent it 
toward the ground But his mother cried: "What then! 
By Allah, he knoweth nothing at all ; I never saw so heed- 
less a child as this. All the day he idleth about with the 
boys of the street, vagabonds like himself, and his father 
(O my grief!) died only of grieving over him. And I am 
now in woeful plight; T toTI, and spin nigTit and day to gain 
a couple of loaves of bread for us to eat together. This is 
his state, O brother-in-law; and by thy life he cometh not 
home save to meals, and never else. And as for me, I am 
minded to lock the door of my house and open not to him, 
but let him go and seek his own living. I am an old woman, 
and I have not strength to work and struggle for a livelihood 
like this. By_Allah, I have to support him with food, when 


it is I who ought to be supported." And the Moor turned 
to ' Ala-ed-Din and said : " O son of my brother, why dost 
thou continue in such gracelessness ? It is shame upon thee 
and befitteth not men Hke thee. Thou art a person of sense, 
my boy, and the son of decent folk. It is a reproach to thee 
that thy mother, an aged woman, should toil for thy mainte- 
nance. And now that thou hast reached manhood, it be- 
hooveth thee to devise some way whereby thou mayest be able 
to support thyself. Look about, for God be praised, i.i this 
our city there are plenty of teachers of handicrafts; nowhere 
more. So choose a craft that pleaseth thee, for me to set 
thee up therein, so that as thou waxest older, my son, thy 
trade shall bring thee maintenance. If so be thy father's 
calling liketh thee not, choose another that thou preferrest. 
Tell me, and I will help thee as best I can, my son." And 
when he saw that *Ala-ed-Din was silent and answered him 
never a word, he knew that he did not wish any calling at 
all, save idling, so he said: "O son of my brother, let not 
my advice be irksome to thee; for if, after all, thou like not 
to learn a trade, I will open for thee a merchant's shop of 
the richest stuffs, and thou shalt be known among the people, 
and take and give and buy and sell and become a man of 
repute in the city." And when 'Ala-ed-Din heard his uncle's 
words that he would make him a merchant trader, he re- 
joiced greatly, for he knew that merchants are well dressed 
and well fed. So he looked smilingly at the Moor and in- 
clined his head to signify his content. 

And when the Moorish wizard saw *AIa-ed-Din smiling, 
he perceived that he was content to be made a merchant, 
and he said to him: "Since thou art satisfied that I make 
thee a merchant and open a shop for thee, O son of my 
brother, be a man, and, God willing, to-morrow I will take 
thee to the market to begin with, and get cut for thee an 
elegant dress such as merchants wear, and then find for thee 
a shop, and keep my promise to thee." Now 'Ala-ed-Din's 
mother had been in doubt whether the Moor were indeed 
her brother-in-law; but when she heard his promise to her 
son to open a merchant's shop for him and furnish him with 
goods and wares and the rest, the woman decided in her 
mind that this Moor was verily her brother-in-law, since no 


stranger would have acted thus to her son. And she began 
to direct her son and bade him banish ignorance from his 
head and become a man, and ever obey his uncle like a son, 
and retrieve the time he had squandered in idling with his 
mates. Then she arose, and spread the table and served the 
supper, and they all sat down, and began to eat and drink; 
and the Moor discoursed to 'Ala-ed-Din on the affairs of 
business and the like, so that the boy did not sleep that 
night for joy. And when he perceived that the night had 
fallen, the Moor arose and went to his abode and promised 
them to return on the morrow to take 'Ala-ed-Din to have 
his merchant's clothes made. 

The next day the Moor rapped at the door, and the 
mother of 'Ala-ed-Din arose and opened to him, but he 
would not enter, but only desired to take her son with him 
to the market. So 'Ala-ed-Din came forth to him and 
wished him good-day, and kissed his hand; and the Moor 
took him by the hand and went with him to the market, and 
entered a clothes-shop of all sorts of stufifs, and demanded 
a sumptuous suit of merchant's style. So the dealer 
brought out what he required ready made. And the Moor 
said to 'Ala-ed-Din : " Choose what pleaseth thee, my son." 
The boy rejoiced greatly when he understood that his uncle 
had given him his choice, and he picked out the suit he 
preferred; and the Moor paid the dealer the price on the 
spot. Then he took 'Ala-ed-Din to the Hammam, and they 
bathed, and came forth, and drank sherbet. And 'Ala-cd- 
Dm arose and put on his new dress, rejoicing and preening; 
and he approached his uncle and thanked him, and kissed 
his hand, and acknowledged his kindness. 

After the Moor had come forth from the bath with 'Ala- 
ed-Din and taken him to the market of the merchants, and 
delighted him with the buying and selling therein, he said 
to him : " O son of my brother, it behoovcth thee to become 
acquainted with the people, above all with the merchants, 
in order to learn their business, since it is now thy profes- 
sion." And he took him and shewed him about the city 
and the mosques and all the sights of the place; and then 
led him to a cook-shop, where dinner was served to them 
on silver dishes; and they dined and ate and drank until 


they were satisfied, and then they went their way. And the 
Moor pointed out the pleasure-grounds, and great buildings, 
and entered the Sultan's palace, and shewed him all the 
beautiful large rooms. Then he took him to the Khan of 
the foreign merchants, where he had his lodging; and he 
invited some of the merchants in the Khan to supper; and 
when they sat down, he informed them that this was his 
brother's son, whose name was 'Ala-ed-Din. And when 
they had eaten and drunk and night had fallen, he arose 
and took 'Ala-ed-Din back to his mother. And when she 
saw her son, that he was one of the merchants, her reason 
departed for very joy, and she began to thank her brother- 
in-law for his goodness, saying: "O my brother-in-law, I 
could not satisfy myself if I thanked thee all my life, and 
praised thee for the favour thou hast done to my son." And 
the Moor replied : " O wife of my brother, it is no favour at 
all, for this is my son, and it is my duty to fill the place of 
my brother, his father. So let it suffice thee." And she 
said : " I pray God, by his favoured ones, the saints of old 
and of latter days, to keep thee and prolong thy life to me, 
O my brother-in-law, so that thou mayest be a shield for 
this orphan youth, and he be ever obedient to thy command 
and do nothing save what thou orderest him to do." And 
the Moor replied : " O wife of my brother, *Ala-ed-Din is of 
man's estate and intelligent and of an honest stock, and 
please God he will follow his father's way and refresh thine 
eye. I am sorry, however, that, to-morrow being Friday 
the day of worship, I shall not be able to open his shop for 
him, because on that day all the merchants after service 
repair to the gardens and walks. But on Saturday, God 
willing, we will accomplish our affair. And to-morrow I 
will come here and take 'Ala-ed-Din, and shew him the 
gardens and walks outside the city, which he may not per- 
haps have seen before, and point out to him the merchant 
folk and people of note who walk about and amuse them- 
selves there, so that he may become acquainted with them 
and they with him." 

So the Moor slept that night at his abode, and in the 
morning he came to the tailor's house and rapped at the 
door. Now 'Ala-ed-Din, from excess of delight in his new 


dress, and what with the bathing and eating and drinking 
and sightseeing of the day before, and the expectation of 
his uncle's coming on the morrow to take him to the gar- 
dens, had not slept that night, nor closed his eyes, nor 
scarcely believed the morning had come. So as soon as he 
heard the rap at the door he ran out like a flash of fire and 
opened the door and met his uncle, who embraced and 
kissed him, and took him by the hand. And as they went 
along he said : "O son of my brother, to-day I will shew 
thee such a sight as thou never didst see in all thy life." 
And he made the boy laugh and entertained him with his 
talk. And they went out of the gate of the city and began 
meandering among the gardens : and the Moor pointed out 
the splendid pleasure-grounds and wondrous tall palaces. 
And so often as they looked upon a garden or mansion or 
palace, the Moor would pause and say : ''Doth this astonish 
thee, O son of my brother?" And 'Ala-ed-Din well nigh 
flew with delight at seeing things he had never imagined in 
all his born days. And they ceased not to wander about 
and amuse themselves till they were weary. Then they 
entered a large garden hard by, whereat the heart became 
light and the eye bright, for its brooks trickled amid flowers, 
and fountains gushed from the jaws of brazen lions, which 
shone like gold. So they sat down by a lake and rested 
awhile; and 'Ala-ed-Din was full of happiness and began to 
make merry and jest with his uncle as though he were of 
a truth his father's brother. Then the Moor arose, and 
loosening his girdle, took forth a wallet of food and fruit 
and so forth, saying: "O son of my brother, thou art 
hungry ; come then and eat thy fill." So 'Ala-ed-Din fell to 
eating and the Moor ate with him, and their souls were 
refreshed and made glad, and they reposed. And the Moor 
said: "O son of my brother, if thou art rested, let us 
walk a spell and finish our stroll." So 'Ala-ed-Din arose, 
and the Moor led him from garden to garden till they had 
quitted all the gardens and come to a lofty hill. But 'Ala- 
ed-Din, who all his life had never gone beyond the city 
gates, or taken such a walk, said to the Moor : "O my 
uncle, whither do we go? We have left all the gardens 
behind us, and come to the mountain, and if the way be 


far, I have not strength to walk longer; nay, I am all but 
fainting from tiredness. There are no more gardens ahead, 
so let us turn and go back to the city." But the Moor 
replied: "Nay, my son; this is the road, and it is not yet 
an end of the gardens; for we are just going to look at one 
such as is not to be seen among Kings' gardens, and all 
those thou hast seen are naught compared with it. So 
pluck up thy courage, for, God be praised, thou art now a 
grown man." And the Moor set to cheering 'Ala-ed-Din 
with encouraging words, and related wonderful tales, both 
true and false, until they came to the place which this 
Moorish sorcerer had fixed upon, and the which to find he 
had journeyed from the lands of the West to the countries 
of China. And when they arrived, he said to 'Ala-ed-Din: 
"O son of my brother, sit down and rest, for this is the 
place we are seeking, and if it please God I will shew thee 
wonders the like of which no one in the world ever saw 
before, nor hath any one rejoiced in looking upon what thou 
art to see. When thou art rested, arise and find some 
faggots of wood and thin dry sticks to make a fire. Then 
will I shew thee, O son of my brother, a thing beyond 
description." And when 'Ala-ed-Din heard this, he longed 
to see what his uncle would do, and forgot his weariness 
and straightway arose and began to collect small faggots 
and dry sticks and gathered them together till the Moor 
cried, "Enough, O son of my brotht^r !" Then the Moor 
drew from his pocket a box, and opened it, and took from 
it what incense he required, and he burnt it and muttered 
adjurations and said mysterious words. And straightway, 
amid murk and quaking and thunder, the earth opened, 
and 'Ala-ed-Din was alarmed and terrified at this, and 
would have fled. But when the sorcerer perceived his 
intention, he was wroth and furiously enraged thereat, for 
without 'Ala-ed-Din his design would come to naught, and 
the treasure he sought to unearth could not be obtained 
save by means of the boy. And so when he saw him 
thinking of flight he made for him, and raising his hand, he 
smote him on the head, so that his teeth were almost 
knocked out, and he swooned and fell to the ground. And 
after a while he came to, by the spells of the Moor, and fell 


a-crying, and said: "O my uncle, what have I done to 
deserve such a blow from thee?" So the Moor began to 
mollify him, and said: "O my son, it is my intention to 
make a man of thee; so thwart me not, who am thine uncle, 
and, as it were, thy father. Obey me, rather, in all I tell 
thee, and shortly thou shalt forget all this toil and trouble 
when thou lookest upon marvellous things." Thereupon, 
when the earth had opened in front of the wizard, there 
appeared a marble slab, wherein was a ring of brass. And 
drawing geometric figures, the Moor said to 'Ala-ed-Din : 
"If thou dost what I tell thee, thou wilt become richer than 
all the Kings put together; and for this cause struck I thee, 
O my son, because there is buried here a treasure which is 
deposited in thy name, and yet thou wast about to abandon 
it and flee. And now pull thy wits together and behold 
how I have cloven the earth by my spells and incantations. 

"Under that stone with the ring," he continued, "is the 
Treasury whereof I told thee. Put forth thy hand to the 
ring and raise the stone, for no one in the world but thyself 
hath the power to open it, nor can any save thee set foot in 
this Treasury, which hath been reserved for thee alone. 
Wherefore thou must hearken to all that I bid thee, and not 
gainsay my words a jot. All this, O my son, is for thy 
good, since this treasure is immense. The Kings of the 
earth have never seen the like, and it is all for thee and 
for me." 

So poor 'Ala-ed-Din forgot his tiredness and the beating ^ 
and the tears, and was dazzled at the words of the Moor, ' 
and rejoiced to think that he would become so rich that 
Kings would not be wealthier than he. And he said : "O my 
uncle, command me what thou wilt, and I will obey thy 
behest." And the Moor said to him: "O son of my 
brother, thou art like my own child, and more, since thou 
art my brother's son and I have none of kin save thee; and 
thou art my heir and successor, O my son." And he 
approached 'Ala-ed-Din and kissed him, saying: "For whom 
should I design all these labours of mine, my child, except 
for thee, that I may leave thee a rich man, as rich as can 
be I Wherefore thwart me not in anything I tell thee, but 
go to that ring and lift it as I bade thee." And 'Ala-ed- 


Din said : "O my uncle, this ring is too heavy for me ; I 
cannot Hft it alone; coine and help me to raise it, for I am 
little in years." But the Moor replied: "O my brother's 
son, we can accomplish nothing if I aid thee, and our 
labours would be vain ; put then thy hand to the ring and 
lift it, and the stone will come up immediately. Did I not 
tell thee that none can move it but thyself ? Repeat thy 
name and the names of thy father and mother, whilst thou 
pullest, and it will come up at once, and thou wilt not feel 
its weight." So 'Ala-ed-Din summoned his strength and 
plucked up his courage, and set to work as his uncle had 
bidden him, and lifted the stone with perfect ease, after 
saying the names of himself and his father and mother as 
the Moor had counselled him. So he lifted the slab and cast 
it on one side. 

And when he had lifted the slab from the door of the 
Treasury, before him lay a passage entered by a descent 
of twelve steps. And the Moor said to him : " 'Ala-ed-Din, 
pull thy wits together, and do exactly what I tell thee to the 
uttermost, and fail not a little from it. Descend carefully 
into yonder passage until thou reachcst the end, and there 
shalt thou find a place divided into four chambers, and in 
each of these thou shalt see four golden jars and others of 
virgin gold and silver. Beware that thou touch them not 
nor take anything out of them, but leave them and go on to 
the fourth chamber, without even brushing them with thy 
clothes or loitering a single moment; for if thou do contrary 
to this thou wilt straightway be transformed and become a 
black stone. And when thou comest to the fourth chamber 
thou wilt find a door ; then open the door, and repeating 
the names thou saidst over the slab, enter, and verily thou 
wilt pass thence into a garden full of fruit trees, whence thou 
wilt proceed by a path which thou wilt see in front of thee 
about fifty cubits long, and come upon an alcove^ in which 
is a ladder of about fifty steps, and thou shalt see, moreover, 
a Lamp suspended above the alcove. Take thou the Lamp, 
and pour out the oil therein, and put it in thy breast, and be 
not afraid for thy clothes, since it is but common oil. And on 
thy return thou mayest pluck what thou pleasest from the 

1 Liwan 



trees, for all is thine so long as the Lamp continue in thy 
hand." And when he had ended, the Moor took a signet 
ring from his finger and put it on 'Ala-ed-Din's finger, and 
said: "My son, this ring will guard thee from all peril and 
fear that may beset thee, so long as thou obeyest all that I 
have told thee. Arise, therefore, forthwith and descend and 
pluck up thy courage, and strengthen thy resolve and fear 
not, for thou art a man now, and no longer a child. And 
after this, my boy, thou shalt speedily become possessed of 
riches galore, till thou art the richest man in the world." 

So 'Ala-ed-Din arose and went down into the cavern and 
found the four chambers and the four golden jars therein, 
and these he passed by with all care and precaution, as the 
Moor had told him, and he came to the garden and went 
through it till he found the alcove, and climbing the ladder, ^t 
he took the Lamp and poured out the oil and put it in his Zt. 
bosom, and went down into the garden, where he began to 
marvel at the trees with the birds on their branches singing 
the praises of their glorious Creator. And though he had 
not noticed it when he entered, these trees were all covered 
with precious stones instead of fruit, and each tree was of a 
different kind and had different jewels, of all colours, green 
and white and yellow and red and other colours, and the 
brilliance of these jewels paled the sun's rays at noontide. 
And the size of each stone surpassed description, so that 
none of the Kings of the world possessed any like the 
largest or half the size of the least of them. And 'Ala-ed- 
Din walked among the trees and gazed upon them and on 
these things which dazzled the sight and bewildered the 
mind, and as he examined them he perceived that instead 
of ordinary fruit the yield was of big jewels, emeralds and 
diamonds, and rubies and pearls, and other precious stones, 
such as to bewilder the understanding. But as he had 
never seen such things in his life, and had not reached 
mature years so as to know the value of such jewels (for he 
was still a little boy), he imagined that these jewels were all 
of glass or crystal. And he gathered pockets full of them, 
and began to examine whether they were ordinary fruit, like 
figs or grapes and other like eatables ; but when he saw 
that they v/ere of glass (knowing nothing of precious stones), 


he put some of each kind that grew on the trees into his 
pockets, and finding them of no use for food, he said in his 
mind : " I will gather these glass fruits and play with them 
at home." So he began plucking them and stuffing them 
into his pockets until they were full ; and then, when he had 
picked more and put them in his girdle, and girded it on, he 
carried off all he could, intending to use them for ornaments 
at home, since he imagined, as has been said, that they were 
only glass. Then he hastened his. steps, for fear of his 
uncle, the Moor, and passed through the four chambers, and 
came to the cav-crn, without as much as looking at the jars 
of gold, notwithstanding that on his way back he was per- 
mitted to take of them. And when he came to the steps, 
and ascended them till none remained but the last one, 
which was higher than the others, he was unable to climb it 
by himself, without help, seeing that he was weighted. And 
he called to the Moor : " O my uncle, give me thy hand 
and help me to get up." And the sorcerer replied : " O 
my son, give me the Lamp, and lighten thyself ; perhaps it 
is that which weighelh thee down." But he answered: "O 
my uncle, the Lamp doth not weigh me down at all ; give 
me only thy hand, and when I am up I will give thee the 
Lamp." But since the wizard wanted only the Lamp, and 
nought beside, he began to urge 'Ala-ed-Din to give it him, 
which, since it was at the bottom of his dress and the bags 
of precious stones bulged over it, he could not reach to give 
it him ; so the Moor pressed him to give what he could 
not, and raged furiously, and persisted in demanding the 
Lamp, when 'Ala-cd-Din could not get at it to give it him. 

And when 'Ala-ed-Din could not get at the Lamp to 
give it to his uncle, the Moor, the impostor, he became 
frantic at not gaining his desire, though 'Ala-ed-Din had 
promised to give it him without guile or deceit as soon as 
t'e got out of the cave. But when the Moor saw that 
o\.la-ed-Din would not give him the Lamp, he was furiously 
^hraged and gave up all hope of getting it. So he muttered 
'^ftcantations and threw incense into the fire, and immedi- 
ately the slab shut of itself and by the power of magic 
became closed, the earth buried the stone as heretofore, 
and 'Ala-ed-Din remained under the ground unable to come 


forth. For this sorcerer, as we have related, was a stranger 
and no uncle of 'Ala-ed-Din's ; but he misrepresented him- 
self and asserted a lie, in order to gain possession of this 
Lamp by means of the youth. 

So the accursed Moor heaped the earth over him and 
'.eft him, for whose sake this treasure had been preserved, 
to die of hunger. For this damnable Moorish sorcerer was 
from the land of Africa, from the inner Westland, and from 
his youth he had practised sorcery and all magic arts (the 
City of Africa [in Barbary] is well known for all these 
mysteries), and he ceased not to study and learn from his 
childhood in the City of Africa until he had mastered all 
the sciences. And one day, by his accomplished skill in 
sciences and knowledge, acquired in the course of forty 
years of sorcery and incantation, he discovered that in a 
remote city of China, called El-Kal'as, there was buried a 
vast treasure the like of which not one of the Kings of this 
world had ever amassed, and among this treasure was a 
Wonderful Lamp, which whoso possessed, mortal man 
could r!bt excel him in estate or in riches, nor could the 
mightiest King upon earth attain to the opulence of this 
Lamp and its power and its potency. And when he dis- 
covered by his science and perceived that this treasure 
could only be obtained by means of a boy of the name of 
'Ala-ed-Din, of poor family, and belonging to that city, and 
understood how it could thus be taken easily and without 
trouble, he straightway and without hesitation prepared to 
journey to China, as we have said, and did with 'Ala-ed- 
Din what he did, and imagined that he would gain possession 
of the Lamp. But his design and his hopes were frustrated 
and his labour was in vain. So he resolved to do 'Ala-ed- 
Din to death, and heaped the earth over him to the end 
that he might die, for "the living hath no murderer." More- 
over, he resolved upon this, in order that 'Ala-ed-Di- . 
as he could not get out, should not be able to brir", 
up the Lamp from below ground. Then he went h - 
way and returned to the regions of Africa, dejectc^ 
in spirit and disappointed of his aim. Thus was it witT 
the sorcerer. 

But as for 'Ala-ed-Din, when the earth was heaped over 


him, he began to call to his uncle, the Moor, whom he 
believed to be such, to stretch out his hand, that he might 
come forth from the vault to the face of the earth; and he 
shouted, and no one answered him. Then he understood 
the trick which the Moor had played upon him, and that 
he was no uncle at all, but a lying magician. So 'Ala-ed- 
Din despaired of his life, and perceived to his grief tha: 
there remained to him no escape to the earth's surface, and 
he began to weep and bewail that which had befallen him. 
But after awhile he arose and descended to see if God 
Most High would provide him a door of escape. And he 
went, turning to right and left, and found nothing but dark- 
ness, and four doors shut against him ; for the sorcerer by 
his magic had closed all the doors, and had even shut that 
of the garden through which 'Ala-ed-Din had passed, so 
that he might not find there a door by which to escape to 
the surface of the earth, and thus to hasten his death. And 
'Ala-ed-Din's weeping increased and his wailing grew louder 
when he saw the doors all shut, and the garden also, where 
he had intended to console himself awhile; but he found 
everything closed, and he gave himself up to weeping and 
lamenting, like him who hath abandoned hope, and he 
returned and sat on the steps of the vault where he had first 

Thus he sat weeping and wailing and hopeless. But a 
small thing is it to God (extolled and exalted be he!) if he 
willeth a thing to say to it, "Be," and it is. Thus doth he 
create joy in the midst of woe; and thus was it with 'Ala- 
ed-Din. When the Moorish sorcerer sent him to the vault, 
he gave him a ring and put it on his finger, saying, ''Verily 
this ring will guard thee from all danger if thou be in 
trouble and difficulties, and take away from thee all evils, 
and be thy helper wheresoever thou art." And this was by 
tifie decree of God Most High, that it should be the means 
o\f 'Ala-ed-Din's escape. For whilst he sat weeping and 
Lamenting his case and abandoning his hope of life, over- 
Vfvhelmed with his misfortune, in his exceeding tribulation 
be began wringing his hands as the sorrowful are wont 
to do. And he raised his hands supplicating God, and 
s-iying: "I testify that there is no God but thee alone, the 


mighty, the omnipotent, the all-conquering, the quickener 
of the dead, creator of needs and fulfiller thereof, who 
dispellest troubles and anxieties and turnest them into joy. 
Thou sufficest me, and thou art the best of protectors; and 
I testify that Mohammad is thy servant and apostle. O my 
God, by his favour with thee, release me from this calamity." 
And whilst he was supplicating God and wringing his hands 
from heaviness of grief at the calamity which had overtaken 
him, his hand happened to rub the ring, and, behold, im- 
mediately the Slave of the Ring appeared before him and 
cried : '"Here I am, thy slave, between thy hands. Ask 
what thou wilt, for I am the slave of him on whose hand is 
the ring, the ring of my master," And *Ala-ed-Din looked 
up and saw a Marid like the Jinn of our Lord Suleyman, 
standing before him; and he was afifrighted at the awful 
apparition, until he heard the Slave of the Ring say: "Ask 
what thou wilt, for verily am I thy servant, because the ring 
of my master is on thy hand." So he recovered his spirit 
and called to mind the words of the Moor when he gave 
him the ring. And he rejoiced exceedingly and plucked 
up heart and said to him: "O Slave of the Ring, I wish 
thee to convey me to the surface of the earth." And hardly 
had he spoken when, behold, the earth gaped open and he 
found himself at the door of the Treasury, outside, in face 
of the world. And when 'Ala-ed-Din saw himself thus in 
face of the world, after being three days under ground 
sitting in the dark Treasury, and the light of day and the 
sunshine smote his face and he could not open his eyes for 
it, he began to open his eyelids little by little till his eyes 
were stronger and became accustomed to the light and 
recovered from the gloom. 

Then he perceived that he was on the surface of the 
earth, whereat he rejoiced greatly, and it astonished him 
that he should be outside the door of the Treasury which 
he had entered when the Moorish sorcerer opened it, and 
yet that the door should be shut and the earth made level 
so. that there was no trace of an entrance at all. And he 
wondered more and more, and could not believe he was in 
the same place, till he saw the spot where they had lighted 
the fire of sticks and faggots, and the place where the 


sorcerer had muttered his incantations. Then turning right 
and left, he saw the gardens at a distance, and perceived 
the road, and he knew it was the same by which he had come. 
So he gave thanks to God Most High, who had brought 
him back to the earth's surface and saved him from death 
after the hope of life had abandoned him. So he arose 
and walked on the road which he recognized till he came 
to the city, and entered, and repaired to his home, and went 
to his mother. And when he saw her, he swooned on the 
ground before her from exceeding joy at his escape and 
the recollection of the terror and toil and hunger he had 
endured. And his mother had been sorrowful since his 
departure, and had sat sobbing and weeping for him; so 
when she saw him come in she rejoiced over him with 
great joy, though grief seized her when she saw him fall 
swooning to the ground. But she did not give way to her 
anxiety in the predicament, but poured water on his face 
and borrowed from her neighbours aromatics for him to 
sniff. And when he was somewhat restored, he begged her 
to give him something to eat, saying to her : "O my mother, 
it is now three days since I ate anything at all." And his 
mother arose and prepared for him what she had ready by 
her, and set it before him, saying: "Come, my son, eat 
and refresh thyself, and when thou art restored, tell me 
what hath happened to thee and befallen thee, O my child; 
but I will not ask thee now, because thou art weary." So 
'Ala-ed-Din ate and drank and became restored, and when 
he was better and had regained his spirits, he said to his 
mother: "Ah, my mother, I have a heavy reckoning against 
thee for abandoning me to that devilish man who sought 
my ruin and desired to kill me. Know that I looked death 
in the face on account of the accursed reprobate whom thou 
didst acknowledge as my uncle ; and had not God Most 
High delivered me from him, both I and thou, my mother, 
would have been imposed upon by the plenitude of this 
villain's promises of the good he would do me. and the zeal 
of the love he displayed for me. But know, O mother, that 
this man is a sorcerer, a Moor, a liar, accursed, impostor, 
cheat, hypocrite. I hold the devils beneath the earth are 
not his match. May God condemn every record of his 


deeds ! Listen, then, my mother, to what this devil did — 
for all I tell thee is really true. See how this accursed one 
brake every promise he made me to work me good ; and 
look at the love he shewed me and how he acted; and all 
to attain his own ambition ! And he would have killed 
me — God be thanked for my deliverance. Consider and 
hearken, O my mother, how this Man of the curse acted." 
Then 'Ala-ed-Din informed his mother all that had befallen 
him — weeping for excess of joy — telling her how, after he 
had left her, the Moor had led him to a mountain wherein 
was a treasure, and how he had muttered incantations and 
spells. And he added: "After that, O my mother, he beat 
me till I fainted from soreness, and a great horror gat hold 
of me, when the mountain split asunder and the earth 
opened before me by his sorcery, and I trembled and was 
afeared at the roaring of the thunder which I heard and 
the darkness which fell around as he muttered his spells. 
And I would fain have fled from fear when I saw these 
awful sights. So when he saw that I was bent upon flight, 
he reviled me and beat me. But, since the Treasure could 
not be unearthed save by me, as it was in my name, and 
not his, and because this ill-omened sorcerer knew that it 
could only be opened by my means, and this was what he 
wanted me for; therefore, after beating me, he thought it 
better to mollify me in order to send me to open the 
Treasure and obtain his desire. And when he sent me, he 
gave me a ring and put it on my finger, after it had been 
on his own. So I descended into the Treasury, and found 
four chambers all full of gold and silver and the like, and 
all this was as nought, for that Devil's own hand commanded 
me to touch nothing of it. Then I entered a great garden 
full of lofty trees, whose fruits confounded the reason, for all 
were of glass of delightful colours ; and I came to the hall 
in which was this Lamp, and I took it forthwith and emptied 
it." And *Ala-ed-Din took out the Lamp from his bosom, 
and shewed it to his mother, and in like manner the 
precious stones which he had brought from the garden, of 
which there were two large pockets full, of such as not one 
was to be met with among the Kings of the world. But 
'Ala-ed-Din knew not their worth, but deemed them glass 


or crystal. And he continued: "After getting the Lamp, 

my mother, and arriving at the door of the Treasury, 

1 called to the accursed Moor, who passed himself off as 
my uncle, to give me his hand and help me up, as I was 
overburdened with things and could not get up alone. 
But he would not give me his hand, but said: 'Hand up 
the Lamp that is with thee, and then I will give thee my 
hand and help thee out/ But I had put the Lamp at the 
bottom of my pocket, and the bags stuck out above it, and 
I could not get it out to give it him, and I said: 'O my 
uncle, I cannot give thee the Lamp, but when I am up I 
will give it thee.' But he did not mean to help me out, 
for he only wanted the Lamp; and his intention was to 
take it from me and heap the earth over me and destroy 
me, as he did his best to do. And this is what happened, 

my mother, from this ill-omened sorcerer." And 'Ala- 
ed-Din told her all the story to the end thereof, and fell 
to cursing the Moor with all his might from out of his 
raging soul, saying: "O my mother, woe to this damnable 
sorcerer, this ill-omened, vile, inhuman cheat and hypocrite, 
who contemneth all human kindness, and spurneth mercy 
and compassion !" 

When his mother heard her son's story and what the 
Moorish sorcerer had done to him, she said: "Yea, my 
son, of a truth he is a miscreant and a hypocrite, a hypocrite 
who slays folk by his magic; and it was only the grace of 
God Most High, my son, that delivered thee from the wiles 
and spells of this accursed, whom I believed to be in truth 
thine uncle." And 'Ala-ed-Din, since he had not slept a 
wink for three days, and found himself nodding, sought his 
repose and went to sleep, and his mother likewise slept 
afterwards; and he did not wake up till near noon on the 
second day. As soon as he was awake he wanted something 
to eat, for he was hungry. And she said to him : "O my 
son, I have nought to give thee, because thou didst eat 
yesterday all that there was in the house; but wait awhile; 

1 have spun yarn which I will take to the market and 
sell and buy thee something to eat with the proceeds." To 
which 'Ala-ed-Din replied : "Mother, keep thy yarn ; sell 
it not, but give me the Lamp I brought, that I may go sell 


it, and buy therewith something to eat, for I think the Lamp 
will fetch more than the yarn." So she arose and brought 
the Lamp to her son, and she found it very dirty, and said: 
"O my son, here is the Lamp, but verily it is dirty, and 
when we have cleaned and polished it it will sell for a 
greater price." So she went and took a handful of sand, 
and fell to rubbing the Lamp therewith; but she had hardly 
begun to rub when there appeared before her one of the 
Jann, of terrible aspect and vast stature, as it were of the 
giants. And he said to her: "Tell me what thou dost want 
of me; here am I, thy slave, and the slave of him who 
holdeth the Lamp; not I only, but all the slaves of the 
Wonderful Lamp which is in thy hand." But she trembled, 
and fear gat hold of her, and her tongue clave as she gazed 
upon that terrible form; and she could not answer, because 
she was not accustomed to seeing apparitions like that. So 
in her terror she could not make any reply to the Marid, 
but fell down overcome with alarm. But 'Ala-ed-Din her 
son was waiting hard by, and had seen the 'Efrit of the 
Ring which he had rubbed when in the Treasury; and 
hearing the speech of the Jinni to his mother, he hastened 
forward and seized the Lamp from her hand, saying: "O 
Slave of the Lamp, I am hungry; and I wish thee to bring 
me something to eat, and let it be something good beyond 
imagination." So the Jinni vanished for a moment and 
brought him a magnificent tray of great price, made of pure 
silver, on which were twelve dishes of various foods and 
delicious dainties, and two cups of silver and flagons of 
clear old wine, and bread whiter than snow; and he set 
them before 'Ala-ed-Din and vanished. And *Ala-ed-Din 
arose and sprinkled water on his mother's face and made 
her smell pungent perfumes, and she revived. Then he 
said : "O my mother, come and eat of this food which God 
Most High hath provided for us." And when his mother 
saw the beautiful table, that it was of silver, she man^elled 
at this affair, and said : "O my son, who is this generous 
benefactor that hath satisfied our hunger and lightened our 
poverty? Verily we are in his debt, and I am thinking that 
the Sultan, seeing our case and our poverty, sent this tray of 
food to us himself." "O my mother," he answered, "this 


is not a time for speculation ; come, let us eat, for we are 
anhungered." So they went and sat down to the tray and 
fell to eating, and 'Ala-ed-Din's mother tasted viands such 
as never in all her life had she eaten the like thereof. So 
they ate heartily with the utmost appetite from the violence 
of their hunger; moreover, the food was fit for Kings. But 
they knew not if the tray were precious or not, for they had 
never seen its like in their born days. And when they had 
done eating (but they left enough for supper and to last for 
the next day), they arose and washed their hands and sat 
down to talk, and 'Ala-ed-Din's mother turned to her son 
and said : " O my son, tell me what took place with the 
Slave, the Jinni, now that God be praised, we have eaten 
and satisfied ourselves from his good things, and thou hast 
no excuse for saying to me, 'I am hungry.' " So, 'Ala-ed- 
Din told her all that had taken place between him and the 
Slave, while she was fallen in a swoon from affright. And 
sore amazement took hold upon her, and she said to him: 
"It is true, for the Jinn do appear before the son of Adam, 
though I, O my child, in all my days have never seen them ; 
and I am thinking that this is the same that appeared to 
thee in the Treasury." But he replied : "It is not he, O my 
mother; this slave who appeared before thee is the Slave of 
the Lamp." And when she heard these words she said: 
"How is that, my son?" And he answered her: "This 
slave is different in aspect from that; and that one was the 
Slave of the Ring, and this which thou sawest is the Slave of 
the Lamp which was in thy hand." 

And when she heard this she said : "Aha ! that accursed, 
who appeared to me and nearly killed me with fright, belonged 
to the Lamp!" "Yes," he said, and she continued: "I 
adjure thee, O my son, by the milk which thou didst suck 
from me cast away this Lamp and Ring, since they will 
cause us great fear, and as for me, I cannot bide a second 
time to look at them. And it is forbidden us to deal with 
them, since the Prophet (God bless and save him!) hath 
warned us against them." And he said to her; "O my 
mother, thy behests be on my head and my eye! Yet as 
to this behest which thou hast spoken, it is not possible for 
me to abandon either the Lamp or the Ring. Thyself hast 


seen \vhat good they did us when we were anhungered ; and 
know, O my mother, that the Moor, the Har, the sorcerer, 
when I was sent down to the Treasury, wanted nought of 
the gold and silver of which the four chambers were full, 
but commanded me only to bring him the Lamp, and nought 
besides, because he knew its great value, and unless he had 
known that this was immense, he had not toiled and laboured 
and journeyed from his own country to ours in search of it, 
nor would he have imprisoned me in the Treasury when he 
despaired of the Lamp, when I would not give it to him. 
Therefore, O my mother, it behooveth us to hold fast by this 
Lamp and take care of it, for it is our sustenance, and shall 
make us rich, and we must not publish it abroad to anyone. 
And as touching the Ring, in like manner I may not take 
it off my finger, since but for this ring thou hadst not seen 
me again alive, but I should have lain dead within the 
Treasury under the ground. Then how can I take it off 
my hand? And who knoweth what may befall me in life 
of troubles and perils and sore calamities, from which this 
Ring may deliver me? Only in deference to thy wishes I 
will conceal the Lamp, and never again constrain thee to 
look upon it." And when his mother had heard his words 
and had well weighed them, she perceived they were right, 
and said to him: "O my son, do as thou wilt; for myself, 
I wish never to see them again, nor would I willingly wit- 
ness once more the terrible sight which I have seen." 

*Ala-ed-Din and his mother continued eating of the 
viands which the Jinni had brought them, two days, and 
then they were done. So perceiving that nothing remained 
to them to eat, he arose, and took one of the plates which 
the slave had brought on the tray, which were of pure gold, 
though he knew it not; and he went with it to the market. 
And there met him a Jew, viler than the devils, and to him :;^? 
he offered the plate. And when the Jew saw it, he took 
'Ala-ed-Pin aside so that none should see, and examined 
the plate carefully and assured himself that it was of fine 
gold; and not knowing whether 'Ala-ed-Din was acquainted 
with its worth or was inexperienced in such things, he said 
to him: "How much, O my master, is this dish?" And 
*Ala-ed-Din answered, "Thou knowest its value." And the 


Jew considered how much he should bid for it, since 'Ala- 
ed-Din had answered him a business-hke answer; so he 
thought to offer him a small price, and yet he feared that 
'Ala-ed-Din might know the value of it and expect to receive 
a high price. So he said within himself: "Perchance he 
is ignorant of it and knoweth not the value." Then he took 
from his pocket a dinar of gold and gave it him. And when 
'Ala-ed-Din had looked at the piece of gold in his hand, he 
took it and quickly went away. So the Jew knew that the 
youth did not understand the value of the plate, so he re- 
pented with abject repentance that he had given him a dinar 
instead of a carat of a sixtieth. 'Ala-ed-Din meanwhile 
did not tarry, but went to the baker's and bought of him 
bread and changed the dinar and took and went to his 
mother and gave her the bread and the change of the gold, 
and said to her: "O my mother, go and buy for us what 
we need." And she arose and went to the market and 
bought all they required, and they ate and were merry. And 
every time the price of a plate was exhausted, 'Ala-ed-Din 
took another and went with it to the Jew, and the accursed 
Hebrew bought it of him for a pitiful price; and he would 
have reduced the price further, but he was afraid, as he had 
given him a dinar the first time, that if he reduced it the 
youth would go away and sell to some one else, and he 
would thus lose his usurious gains. And 'Ala-ed-Din ceased 
not to sell plate after plate till all were sold, and there 
remained only the tray on which the plates were set ; and 
as this was large and heavy, he went and brought the Jew 
to his house, and shewed him the tray, and when he saw its 
size he gave him ten dinars, which 'Ala-ed-Din took, and 
the Jew departed. And 'Ala-ed-Din and his mother sub- 
sisted on the ten dinars till they were done. 

Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose and fetched the Lamp, and 
rubbed it. and there appeared before him the Slave who 
had appeared to him before. And the Jinni said to him: 
"Command what thou wilt, O my master, for I am thy 
slave and the slave of him who possesseth the Lamp." And 
*Ala-ed-Din answered: "My desire is that thou bring me a 
tray of food like unto that which thou didst bring me before, 
for I am starving." Then, in the twinkling of an eye, the 


Slave brought him a tray, like the one he came with before; 
and on it were twelve plates of the richest, and on them the 
proper viands; and on the tray were also bottles of clear 
wine and white bread. Now 'Ala-ed-Din's mother had gone 
forth when she knew that her son intended to rub the Lamp, 
that she might not look a second time upon the Jinni ; and 
presently she came home and perceived this tray, covered 
with dishes of silver, and the odour of rich viands per- 
meating her house; and she wondered and rejoiced. And 
'Ala-ed-Din said to her : " See, O my mother, thou didst tell 
me to cast away the Lamp ; behold now its advantages ! " 
And she answered : " O my son, God multiply his weal ! 
but I would not look upon him." Then *Ala-ed-Din and 
his mother sat down to the tray, and ate and drank till they 
were satisfied; and they put aside what was left for the 
morrow. And when the food they had was finished, 'Ala- 
ed-Din arose and took a plate of the plates of the tray under 
his garment and sallied forth in quest of the Jew to sell it 
to him ; but by the decrees of destiny he passed by the shop 
of a jeweller, who was a just man and feared God. And 
when the jeweller sheykh saw *Ala-ed-Din he questioned 
him, saying : " O my son, what dost thou want ? for I have 
seen thee often passing by, and thou wast dealing with a 
Jewish man, and I have seen thee making over to him 
various things; and I am thinking that thou hast something 
with thee now, and thou seekest him to buy it. But thou dost 


not know, O my son, that the property of the Muslims, who -jj^ 
profess the Unity of God Most High, is fair spoil to* ^ 
the Jews, who always defraud them, and worst of all this --> "> 
damned Jew with whom thou hast dealt and into whose 
hands thou hast fallen. So if thou hast with thee. O my "^ 

son, anything thou wishest to sell, shew it me, and fear not 
at all, for I will give thee its value by the truth of the Most 
High God." So *Ala-ed-Din produced the plate before the 
sheykh, who when he had looked upon it, took it and 
weighed it in his balance, and questioned *Ala-ed-Din and 
said: "Didst thou sell the like of this to the Jew?" And 
he answered, " Yes, its like and its brother." And the 
other said : " How much did he give thee for its price ? " 
And he answered, " He gave me a dinar." And when the 


sheykh heard from 'Ala-ed-Din that the Jew had given him 
only a single dinar for the price of the plate, he exclaimed: 
" Woe to this accursed who cheats the servants of the ^lost 
High God ! " And looking at 'Ala-ed-Din he said : " O my 
son, verily this rascally Jew hath cheated thee and mocked 
at thee ; for thy plate is of fine virgin silver ; and I have 
weighed it and found its value to be seventy dinars. So if 
thou wilt take its price, take it." And the jeweller sheykh 
counted out to him seventy dinars, and 'Ala-ed Din took 
them, and thanked him for his kindness in shewing him the 
Jew's fraud. And whenever the price of a plate was gone, 
he went and brought another, so that he and his mother 
became well to do, though they ceased not to live as of old, 
as middle-class people, without excess or waste. 

'Ala-ed-Din had cast aside his gracelessness and shunned 
vagabonds, and chose for his companions upright men, and 
went every day to the market of the merchants and sat with 
the great and the small of them, and asked them concerning 
matters of business and the price of investments and the 
rest. And he would visit the market of the goldsmiths and 
jewellers; and there he would sit and divert himself with 
looking at the jewels and how they were bought and sold 
there. And thus he learned that the pockets full of fruit 
which he had gathered in the Treasury were not of glass or 
crystal, but were precious stones. And he knew that he 
had become possessed of vast riches such as Kings could 
never amass. And he examined all the stones that were in 
the market of the jewellers and found that their very biggest 
was not equal to his smallest. And he ceased not each day 
to saunter to the Bazar of the Jewellers and make acquaint- 
ance with the people, and obtain their good-will, and inquire 
of them concerning buying and selling and taking and giving 
and the dear and the cheap; till one day, after rising be- 
times and putting on his dress, he went as was his wont to 
the Bazar of the Jewellers, and as he passed he heard the 
herald calling thus : " By command of the gracious patron, 
King of the Time, Lord of the Age and the Season: now 
let all the people close their stores and shops and enter in 
unto their houses, because Bedr-el-Budur, the daughter of 
the Sultan, intendeth to visit the bath; and whoso dis- 


obeyeth the order, death is his penalty, and his blood be on 
his own head," And when 'Ala-ed-Din heard this proclama- 
tion, he longed to look upon the Sultan's daughter, and said 
within himself: "Verily all the folk talk of her beauty and 
loveliness, and the summit of my ambition is to behold her." 
So *Ala-ed-Din set himself to seek a way whereby he 
might attain to a sight of the daughter of the Sultan, the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur ; and it seemed best to him to stand 
behind the door of the Hammam, so as to see her face when 
she came in. Accordingly, without any delay, he went to the 
bath before she was expected and stood behind the door, a 
place where no one could see him ; and when the daughter 
of the Sultan drew near, after going about the city and its 
quarters and diverting herself thereby, she came to the bath, 
and on entering, lifted her veil and displayed her face, as 
it were a radiant sun or a pearl of great price ; for she was 
as the poet sang: 

Borders of kohl enhance the witchery of her glance, 4 

Gardens of roses are her damask cheeks, 
Black are her tresses as the gloomy night, 
Illumined by the glory of her brow. 

When the princess, raised her veil from her face and 'Ala- 
ed-Din looked upon her, he said: "Of a surety her make 
magnifieth the Mighty Maker, and extolled be he who made 
her and adorned her with such beauty and loveliness ! " 
His vigour became weak at the sight of her, and his 
thoughts became distraught, and his sight bewildered, and 
love of her got hold of his whole soul ; and he went home 
and returned to his mother like one in a dream. And his 
mother spake to him, but he replied not yea or nay; and 
she set before him breakfast, but he remained in the same 
state. So she said to him: "O my son, what hath befallen 
thee? Doth anything distress thee? Tell me what hath 
happened to thee, for thou, contrary to thy wont, repliest 
not when I speak to thee." Then 'Ala-ed-Din, — who had 
believed that all women were like his mother, and though 
he had heard of the beauty of Bedr-el-Budur, the daughter 
of the Sultan, yet knew not what this beauty and loveliness 
might mean, — turned to his mother and said to her, " Let 


me alone." But she urged him to come and eat; so he 
came and ate a little, and then lay on his bed pondering till 
morning dawned. And he ceased not from this state the 
next day, so .that his mother was perplexed for her son's 
condition and could not find out what had come over him. 
And she believed he was seriously sick, and came and asked 
him, saying: "O my son, if thou feel pain or anything of 
the kind, tell me, that I may go and bring thee a physician ; 
and this very day there is in this city a doctor from the land 
of the Arabs whom the Sultan sent for, and the rumour 
goeth that he is very skilful. So if thou be sick, let me go 
and call him in." 

When 'Ala-ed-Din heard that his mother wished to bring 
him a physician, he said to her : " O my mother, I am well, 
and not sick at all. But I always believed that all women 
resembled thee, until yesterday I saw the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, the daughter of the Sultan, going in to the bath." 
And he told her all that had betided him, and said: "Per- 
haps thou didst also hear the herald calling: 'Let no 
man open his shop or stay in the streets, that the Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur may go to the Bath.' But I did look upon her, 
even as she is, because she lifted her veil at the entering of 
the bath. And when I gazed on her form and saw that 
noble shape, there seized me, O my mother, a violent 
ecstasy of love for her, and a fixed resolve to win her pos- 
sesseth every part of me; nor can I possibly rest until I 
gain her. And I intend, therefore, to demand her of the 
Sultan, her father, in lawful wedlock." And when his 
mother heard his words she feared for his reason, and said: 
" O my son, God's name be on thee ! for it is plain thou 
hast lost thy reason, my son. But be guided, and be not 
as the insane." And he answered : " O my mother, I have 
not lost my reason, nor am I mad, nor can thy words alter 
what is in my mind, for peace is impossible to me till I win 
the beloved of my heart, the lovely Lady Bedr-el-Budur. 
And I am determined to demand her of her father, the 
Sultan." And she said to him: " O my son, by my life, say 
not so, lest any one hear thee and say thou art mad. Put 
away from thee this folly; for who should do a thing like 
this, to ask it of the Sultan? And I know not how thou 


wilt set to work to ask this favour of the Sultan, even if thy 
speech be true, or through whom thou wilt ask it." And he 
answered : " Through whom, O my mother, should I make 
this request, when I have thee? And whom have I more 
trusty than thee? It is my wish that thou thyself ask this 
request." And she said: "O my son, God preserve me 
from this! Have I lost my reason like thee? Cast away 
this thought from thy soul, and think whose son thou art, 
my son, the child of a tailor, of the poorest and meanest of 
the tailors to be found in this city; and I, too, thy mother, 
come of very poor folk. So how dost thou presume to ask 
in marriage a daughter of the Sultan, who would not deign 
to marry her to any of the Kings and Sultans, unless they 
were his equals in grandeur and honour and majesty; and 
were they less than he but a single degree he would not give 
them his daughter. 

'Ala-ed-Din waited patiently till his mother had ended 
her speech, and then said : " O my mother, all that thou 
recallest I know, and it is familiar to me that I am the son 
of the poor; but all these thy words cannot change my 
purpose in the least, nor do I the less expect of thee, as 
I am thy son and thou lovest me, to do me this kindness; 
otherwise thou wilt undo me, and speedy death is upon me ; 
unless I obtain my desire of the darling of my heart; and 
in any case, O my mother, I am thy child." And when she 
heard his words she wept in her grief for him, and said: 
" O my son, yea verily I am thy mother, nor have I child 
or blood of my blood save thee ; and the height of my 
desire is to rejoice in thee and wed thee to a wife; but if 
T seek to ask for thee a bride of our equals and peers, they 
will ask at once if thou hast trade or merchandise or land 
or garden, to live on. And what can I answer them? 
And if I cannot answer the poor people, our likes, how 
shall I venture upon this hazard and dare this impertinence, 
O my son, and by what means shall I ask for thee of the 
Sultan his daughter, and howsoever shall I compass access 
to the Sultan's presence? And if they question me, what 
shall I answer? And probably they will take me for a 
mad woman. And supposing T gain access to the presence, 
what shall I take him as an offering to his Majesty?" 


And she went on : " O my child, the Sultan indeed is 
clement, and never rejecteth him who approacheth him to 
ask of him equity or mercy or protection. Ask him for 
a gift, for he is generous, and granteth grace far and near. 
But he granteth his favour to those who deserve it, either 
having done something before him in battle or otherwise 
served their country. Then as for thee, tell me what hast 
thou done before the Sultan's eyes or publicly, that thou 
shouldst merit this grace? And again, this grace which 
thou askest becometh not our rank, and it is not possible 
that the King should g^ve thee the favour which thou 
wouldst ask. And whoso approacheth the Sultan to ask 
favours, it behooveth him to take with him something be- 
fitting his majesty, as I said to thee; and how canst thou 
possibly present thyself before the Sultan, and stand before 
him and ask his daughter of him when thou hast nothing 
with thee to offer him suitable to his rank?"' And ' Ala-ed- 
Din replied: "O my mother, thou speakest aright and 
thinkest well, and it behooveth me to consider all that thou 
hast brought to mind. But, my mother, the love of the 
Sultan's daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, hath penetrated 
into the core of my heart, and peace is impossible to me 
unless I win her. But thou hast reminded me of something 
I had forgotten, and this very thing doth embolden me to 
ask of him his daughter. Thou sayest, O my mother, that 
I have no offering to make to the Sultan, as is the custom 
of the folk, yet as a fact I have a gift to present the equal 
of which I think doth not exist among the Kings anywhere, 
nor anything approaching it ; for verily what I thought to 
be glass or crystal is nothing but precious stones ; and 
I believe that all the Kings of the world have never owned 
aught to equal the least of them. For by visiting the 
jewellers I learned that these are the costliest jewels which 
I brought in my pockets from the Treasury. Therefore be 
tranquil. In the house is a china bowl ; arise, therefore, 
and fetch it, that I may fill it with these jewels, and we 
will see how they look in it." And his mother arose and 
went for the china bowl, and said within herself: "Let me 
see if the words of my son concerning these jewels be true 
or not." And she set the bowl before ' Ala-ed-Din, and he 


drew from his pockets the bags of jewels, and began to 
arrange them in the bowl, and ceased not to set them in 
order until it was full ; and when it was quite full his mother 
looked into it, and could not see into it without blinking, 
for her ej'es were dazzled by the sheen of the jewels and 
their radiance and the excess of their flashing. And her 
reason was confounded, though she was not certain whether 
or not their value was so vastly great; but she considered 
that her son's speech might possibly be true — that their 
equals could not be found among the King's. Then 'Ala- 
ed-Din turned to her and said : " Thou hast seen, O my 
mother, that this gift for the Sultan is splendid, and I am 
convinced that it will procure thee great favour from him, 
and he will receive thee with all honour. So now, O my 
mother, thou hast no excuse; collect, therefore, thy faculties 
and arise ; take this bowl and go with it to the palace." 
And his mother replied: " O my son, certainlythe present is 
exceeding precious, and none, as thou sayest, possesseth its 
equal. But who would dare to approach and ask of the 
Sultan his daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur? As for me, I 
dare not to say to him, ' I want thy daughter ' when he asketh 
me ' What is thy want ? ' But I know, O my son, that my 
tongue will be tied. And suppose that, by God's help, I pluck 
up my courage and say to him: ' It is my desire to become 
related to thee by thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur 
and my son 'Ala-ed-Din,' they will conclude forthwith that 
I am possessed, and will cast me forth in shame and dis- 
grace, till I tell thee not only that I shall run in danger of 
death, but thou wilt likewise. Yet, in spite of all this, O 
my son, in deference to thy wish, I needs must pluck up 
heart and go. But if the King welcome me and honour 
me on account of the gift, and I should ask of him what 
thou wishest, how shall I reply when he asketh me, as is 
usual. What is thy condition and thy income? Haply, O 
my son, he will ask me this before he asketh me who thou 
art." And 'Ala-ed-Din answered : " It is impossible that 
the Sultan should thus question thee after looking at the 
precious stones and their splendor; nor doth it boot to 
consider things which may not happen. Do thou only arise 
and ask him for his daughter for me, and offer him the 



jewels, and do not sit there inventing obstacles. Hast thou 
not already learned, O my mother, that this Lamp of mine 
is now a firm maintenance for us, and that all I demand 
of it is brought to me? And this is my hope, that by its 
means I shall know how to make answer to the Sultan if he 
ask me thus." 

And 'Ala-ed-Din and his mother kept talking over the 
matter all that night. And when morning dawned his mother 
arose and plucked up courage, the more as her son had 
explained to her somewhat of the properties of the Lamp 
and its virtues — that it would supply them with all they 
wanted. 'Ala-ed-Din, however, when he saw that his mother 
had plucked up courage on his explaining to her the effects 
of the Lamp, feared lest she should gossip about it to the 
people, and said to her : " O my mother, take heed how thou 
tellest any one about the Lamp and its virtues, for this is our 
own benefit. Restrain thy thought, lest thou babble to any 
one about it, for fear we lose it and lose the benefit which we 
possess from it." And his mother answered, " Fear not for 
that, O my son." And she arose and took the bowl of 
precious stones and passed forth early, that she might reach 
the audience before it was crowded. And she covered the 
bowl with a kerchief, and went to the palace, and when she 
arrived the audience was not full ; and she saw the ministers 
and sundry of the magnates of the state entering to the 
presence of the Sultan. And presently the levee was com- 
pleted by the wezirs and lords of the state and grandees and 
princes and nobles. Then the Sultan appeared, and the 
ministers bowed down before him, and in like manner the 
rest of the grandees and nobles. And the Sultan seated 
himself on the divan on the kingly throne, and all who 
attended the levee stood before him with crossed arms 
awaiting his command to be seated. And he ordered them 
to sit, and every one of them sat down in his order. Then 
the petitioners presented themselves before the Sultan, and 
he decided everything, as usual, until the audience was over ; 
when the King arose and went in to the palace, and every 
soul departed his own way. And when 'Ala-cd-Din's mother 
saw the Sultan had risen from his throne and gone into 
the Harim, she too took her departure and went her way to 


her house. And when ' Ala-ed-Din perceived her, and saw 
the bowl in her hand, he thought that probably some accident 
had befallen her, but he did not wish to question her until she 
v/as come in and had set down the bowl. Then she related 
to him what had happened, and ended by saying : " Praise 
be to God, my son, that boldness came to me, and I found 
a place in the levee this day, although it did not fall to my 
lot to address the Sultan. Probably, if it please God Most 
High, to-morrow I will speak to him. Indeed, to-day many 
of the people could not address the Sultan, like me. But to- 
morrow, my son, be of good cheer, since I must speak to 
him for the sake of thy desire, and how shall what happened 
happen again ? " And when 'Ala-ed-Din heard his parent's 
words he rejoiced with exceeding joy; and though he 
expected the affair from hour to hour, from the violence of 
his love and yearning for the Lady Bedr-eUBudur, for all 
that he practised patience. So they slept that night, and in 
the morning his mother arose and went with the bowl to the 
audience of the Sultan; but she found it closed. So she 
asked the bystanders, and they told her that the Sultan 
did not hold an audience continually, but only thrice a 

So she resolved to return home that day. And every day 
she went, and when she saw the audience begin she would 
stand before the Sultan till it was over, and then she would 
return ; and next day she would go to see if the court were 
closed; and in this manner she went for a whole month. 
Now the Sultan had perceived her at every levee, and when 
she came on the last day and stood before the presence, as 
was her wont, until it was over, without having courage to 
come forward or address him a word, and the Sultan had 
risen and gone to his Harim, and his Grand Wezir with him, 
the Sultan turned to him and said : "O Wezir, six or seven 
days at each audience have I seen that old woman presenting 
herself here; and I see she always carries something under 
her cloak. Tell me, O Wezir, knowest thou aught of her 
and her business?" And the Wezir answered: "O our lord 
the Sultan, verily women are wanting in sense ; probably this 
woman hath come to complain to thee of her husband or 
one of her people." But the Sultan was not satisfied with 


the Wezir's reply, but commanded him, if the woman came 
again to the levee, to bring her before him. So the Wezir 
put his hand on his head and said : " I hear and obey, O 
our lord the Sultan." 

Now the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din was wont to set forth 
every day to the audience and stand in the presence before 
the Sultan, although she was sad and very weary ; yet for the 
sake of her son's desire she made light of her trouble. And 
one day she came to the levee, as usual, and stood before 
the Sultan, who when he saw her ordered his Wezir. saying: 
" This is the woman I spake of to thee yesterday ; bring her 
instantly before me that I may inquire into her suit and 
decide her business." And straightway the Wezir arose and 
brought 'Ala-ed-Din's mother to the Sultan. And when she 
found herself in the presence, she performed the obeisance 
and invoked glory upon him, and long life and perpetual 
prosperity ; and she kissed the ground before him. And the 
Sultan said to her: "O woman, for some days have I seen 
thee at the levee, and thou hast not addressed a word to me ; 
tell me if thou hast a want, that I may grant it." So she 
kissed the ground again and invoked blessings upon him, and 
said : " Yea, by the life of thy head, O King of the Age. 
verily have I a suit. But, first of all grant me immunity, if 
I can present my suit to the hearing of our lord the Sultan, 
for perhaps thy Felicity may find my petition strange." So 
the Sultan, wishing to know what was her petition, and being 
endowed with much mildness, promised her immunity, and 
at once ordered all who were there to depart, and remained 
alone, he and the Wezir. 

Then the Sultan, turning to her, said: "Explain tliy 
suit, and the protection of God Most High be on thee." 
But she answered : " O King of the Age. I shall need thy 
pardon also." And he replied, " God pardon thee." Then 
she said : " O our lord the Sultan, verily I have a son 
whose name is ' Ala-ed-Din. One day of the days he heard 
the herald proclaiming that none should open his shop or 
appear in the streets of the city, because the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, the daughter of our lord the Sultan, was going to 
the bath. And when my son heard that, he longed to see 
her, and hid himself in a place where he would be able to 


look upon her closely, and that was behind the gate of the 
llammam. So when she drew near, he looked upon her 
and gazed full upon her as much as he liked ; and from the 
moment he saw her. O King of the Age, to this instant, 
life hath been intolerable to him ; and he hath desired me 
to ask her of thy Felicity that he may wed her. I have 
not been able to banish this fancy from his mind, for the 
love of her hath taken possession of his heart, so that he 
told me: 'Be assured, O my mother, that if I do not 
obtain my desire, without doubt I shall die.' So I trust for 
clemency and pardon from thy Felicity for this hardihood of 
mine and my son's, and punish us not for it." 

When the King had heard her story, looking kindly at 
her, he fell a-laughing, and asked her : "What is it thou 
hast with thee, and what is this bundle?"' Then the mother 
of 'Ala-ed-Din, perceiving that the Sultan was not wroth at 
her speech, but rather laughing, forthwith opened the cloth 
and set before him the bowl of jewels. And when the 
Sultan saw the stones, after the cloth was taken off, and 
how the hall was lighted up, as it were, by chandeliers and 
lustres, /he was dazed and amazed at their sparkling, and / 
wondered at their size and splendour and beauty, saying: 
— "To this day have I never seen the like of these jewels for 
beauty and size and loveliness, nor do I believe that there 
is in my treasury a single one equal to them." Then 
turning to his Wezir, he said : "What sayest thou, O Wezir, 
hast thou seen, thou in thy time, the like of these splendid 

And the W^ezir answered: "Never have I seen such. O 
our lord the Sultan, and I do not think that the small- 
est of them is to be found in the treasuries of my 
lord the King." And the King said to him : "Verily he 
who hath presented me with these jewels is worthy to be 
the bridegroom of my daughter Bedr-el-Budur, for, me- 
thinks, as far as I can see, none is worthier of her than he." 
When the Wezir heard this speech of the Sultan, his tongue 
became tied with vexation, and he grieved with sore 
grieving, because the King had promised to marry the 
Princess to his son. So after a little he said to him: "O 
King of the Age, thy Felicity was graciously pleased to 


promise the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to my son: it is therefore 
incumbent on thy Highness to graciously allow three 
months, when, please God, there shall be a present from my 
son more splendid even than this." So the King, though 
he knew that this thing could not be accomplished either 
by the Wezir or by any of the grandees, yet of his kindness 
and generosity granted a delay of three months, as he had 
asked. And turning to the old woman, 'Ala-ed-Din's mother, 
he said: "Go back to thy son, and tell him I have given 
my royal word that my daughter shall bear his name, but it 
is necessary to prepare her wardrobe and requisites, and so 
he will have to wait three months." 

'Ala-ed-Din's mother accepted this answer, and thanked 
the Sultan and blessed him, and hastened forth, and almost 
flew with delight till she came home and entered. And 
'Ala-ed-Din her son saw how her face was smiling; so he 
was cheered by the hope of good news; moreover, she had 
come back without loitering as heretofore, and had returned 
without the bowl. So he asked her, saying: "If it please 
God, my mother, thou bringest me good news, and perhaps 
the jewels and their rarity have had their effect, and the 
Sultan hath welcomed thee and been gracious to thee and 
hearkened to thy request ? " And she related it all to him 
• — how the Sultan had received her and marvelled at the 
multitude of the jewels and their size; and the Wezir also; 
and how he had promised that " his daughter shall bear thy 
name ; only, O my son, the Wezir spake to him a private 
word before he promised me, and after the W'ezir had 
spoken he covenanted for a delay of three months ; and I 
am afraid the Wezir will be hostile to thee and try to change 
the mind of the King." 

When 'Ala-ed-Din heard the words of his mother and 
how the Sultan had promised him after three months, his 
soul was relieved and he rejoiced exceedingly, and said: 
" Since the Sultan hath promised for three months, though it 
is indeed a long time, on all accounts my joy is immense." 
Then he thanked his parent and magnified her success above 
her toil, and said: "By Allah, O my mother, just now I 
was, as it were, in the grave, and thou hast pulled me out ; 
and I praise God Most High that I am now sure that there 


liveth none richer or happier than I." Then he waited in 
patience till two months of the three were gone. 

One day of the days the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din went 
forth about sunset to the market to buy oil and beheld all 
the bazars closed, and the whole city deserted, and the 
people were putting candles and flowers in their windows ; 
and she saw troops and guards and cavalcades of aghas, 
and lamps and lustres flaming. And wonder gat hold of 
her at this marvel and gala, and she went to an oilman's 
shop which was still open, and having bought the oil, said 
to the dealer : "O Uncle, inform me what is the occasion 
to-day in the city, that the people make such adornment, 
and the markets and houses are all closed and the troops 
paraded?" And the oilman answered: "O woman, I 
suppose thou art a stranger, not of this city." But she said, 
"Nay, I am of this city." So he cried: "Art thou of this 
city, and hast not heard that the son of the chief Wezir this 
night is to unite himself to the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, the 
daughter of the Sultan, and he is now at the bath ; and 
these officers and soldiers are drawn up waiting to see him 
come forth from the bath and accompany him to the palace 
into the presence of the daughter of the Sultan !" 

When the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din heard his words she 
was sad and perplexed in her mind how she should contrive 
to break this dismal news to her son, for her unhappy boy 
was counting hour by hour till the three months should be 
over. So she returned home after a little, and when she 
had come and entered to her son she said: "O my son, I 
would fain tell thee certain tidings, though thy grief thereat 
W'ill cost me dear." And he answered. "Tell me, what is 
this news." And she said : "Verily the Sultan hath violated 
his covenant to thee in the matter of his daughter the Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur, and this night the Wezir's son goeth in to 
her. And O my child, I have long suspected that the 
Wezir would change the Sultan's mind, as I told thee how 
he spake privily to him before me." Then 'Ala-ed-Din 
asked her : "How knowest thou that the Wezir's son is 
going in this night to the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, the daughter 
of the Sultan ?" So she told him about all the decorations 
she had noticed in the town when she went to buy oil, an4 


how the aghas and grandees of the state were drawn up 
waiting for the Wezir's son to come forth from the bath, and 
how this was his nuptial night. When he learnt this, 'Ala- 
ed-Din was seized with a fever of grief, till after a while he 
bethought him of the Lamp. Then he cheered up, and 
said: "By thy life, O my mother, suppose the Wezir's son 
should not enjoy her, as thou thinkest. But now let us 
cease this talk, and arise; bring our supper, that we may 
eat, and after I have retired awhile within my chamber all 
will be well." 

So after supper 'Ala-ed-Din withdrew to his chamber and 
fastened the door and took out the Lamp and rubbed it, 
and immediately the Slave came and said : "Ask what thou 
wilt, for I am thy slave, the slave of him who hath the 
Lamp, I and all the servants of the Lamp." And 'Ala-ed- 
Din said: "Listen. I asked the Sultan that I might marry 
his daughter, and he promised me, in three months; but 
he hath not kept his word, but hath given her to the son of 
the Wezir, and this very night it is his intention to go in to 
her. But I command thee, if thou be a true servant of the 
Lamp, that when thou seest the bride and bridegroom 
together this night thou bring them in the bed to this place. 
This is what I require of thee." And the Marid answered: 
"I hear and obey; and if thou hast any other behest, 
besides this, command me in all thou desirest." But 'Ala- 
ed-Din said: "I have no other command save that which 
I have told thee." So the Slave vanished, and 'Ala-ed-Din 
returned to finish the evening with his mother. But when 
the time came when he expected the Slave's return, he 
arose and entered his chamber, and soon after beheld the 
Slave with the bridal pair on their bed. And when 'Ala-ed- 
Din saw them he rejoiced with great joy. Then said he to 
the Slave: "Take away yonder gallows-bird and lay him in 
a closet." And immediately the Slave bore the Wezir's son 
and stretched him in a closet, and before leaving him he 
blew a cold blast on him, and the state of the Wezir's son 
became miserable. Then the Slave returned to 'Ala-ed-Din 
and said: "If thou needest aught else, tell me." And 'Ala- 
ed-Din answered, "Return in the morning to restore them to 
their place." So he said, "I hear and obey," and vanished. 


Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose, and could hardly believe that 
this afifair had prospered with him. But when he looked at 
the Lady Bedr-el-Budur in his own house, although he had 
long been consumed with love of her, yet he maintained an 
honourable respect towards her, and said : " O Lady of 
Loveliness, think not that I brought thee here to harm 
thine honour; nay, but only that none other should be 
privileged to enjoy thee, since thy father the Sultan gave me 
his word that I should have thee. So rest in peace." But 
\vhen Bedr-el-Budur found herself in this poor and dark 
house, and heard the words of 'Ala-ed-Din, fear and shud- 
dering took hold of her. and she was dazed, and could not 
make him any reply. Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose and stripped 
off his robe, and laying a sword between himself and her, 
slept beside her in the bed, without doing her wrong, for he 
wished only to prevent the nuptials of the Wezir's son with 
her. But the Lady Bedr-el-Budur passed the worst of 
nights ; she had not passed a worse in all her life ; and the 
Wezir's son, who slept in the closet, dared not move from 
his fear of the Slave which possessed him. 

When it was morning, without any rubbing of the Lamp, 
the Slave appeared to 'Ala-cd-Din, and said : "O my 
master, if thou desirest anything, command me, that I may 
perform it on the head and the eye." So 'Ala-ed-Din said: 
"Go bear the bride and bridegroom to their place." And 
in the twinkling of an eye the Slave did as 'Ala-cd-Din bade 
him, and took the Wezir's son and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur 
and carried them and restored them to their place in the 
palace, as they had been, without seeing any one, though they 
almost died of fear when they found themselves being 
carried from place to place. Hardly had the Slave put 
them back again and departed, when the Sultan came to 
visit his daughter. And when the Wezir's son heard the door 
open, he forthwith leaped from the bed, for he knew that 
none but the Sultan could come in at that time; but it was 
exceedingly disagreeable to him, for he wished to warm 
himself a little, since he had not long left the [cold] closet; 
however, he arose and put on his clothes. 

The Sultan came in unto his daughter the Lady Bedr- 
el-Budur, and kissed her between the eyes and wished her 


good-morning, and asked her concerning her bridegroom, 
and whether she was content with him. But she made him 
never an answer, but looked at him with an eye of anger; 
and he asked her again, and she remained silent and said 
not a word to him. So the Sultan went his way and 
departed from her house, and went to the Queen, and told 
her what had befallen him with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. 
Then the Queen, loth to have him vexed with the Princess, 
said to him: "O King of the Age, this is the way with 
most brides in their honeymoon ; they are shy, and a trifle 
whimsical. So chide her not, and soon she wall return to 
herself and converse with people; for now it is her modesty, 
O King of the Age, that preventeth her speaking. However, 
it is my intention to go and visit her." 

So the Queen arose and put on her robes and went to 
her daughter the Lady Bedr-ed-Budur, and approached her 
and gave her good-day, and kissed her betwixt the eyes. 
And the Princess answered her never a word. So the 
Queen said to herself: "Some strange thing must have 
happened to her to disquiet her thus." So she asked her: 
"O my daughter, what is the cause of the state thou art in? 
Tell me what hath come to thee, that when I visit thee and 
bid thee good-day, thou answerest me not." Then Bedr-el- 
Budur turned her head and said to her: "Chide me not, O 
my mother; it was indeed my duty to meet thee with all 
regard and reverence, since thou hast honoured me by this 
visit. However, I beg thee to hear the reason of this my 
behaviour, and see how this night which I have passed hath 
been the worst of nights for me. Hardly had we gone to 
bed, O mother, when one whose shape I know not lifted up 
the bed and bore us to a dark, loathly, vile place." And 
she related to her mother the Queen all that had happened 
to her that night, and how they had taken away her bride- 
groom and she had been left alone, till presently another 
youth came and slept, instead of her husband, and placed a 
sword betwixt them. "And in the morning he who took us 
returned to carry us back, and came wth us to this our 
abode. Hardly had he restored us to it and left us, when 
my father the Sultan entered at the very hour of our return, 
and I had not heart or tongue to speak to him from the 


greatness of the fear and trembling which had come over 
me. And perhaps it may have vexed my father; so I pray 
thee, O my mother, tell him the reason for my condition, 
that he may not blame me for my lack of reply to him, but 
instead of censure, excuse me." 

When the Queen heard the words of her daughter the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur, she said to her: "O my child, calm 
thyself. If thou wert to tell this story to any one, it might 
be said that the daughter of the Sultan had lost her wits, and 
thou hast well done in not telling thy father this tale ; and 
beware, my daughter, beware of telling him thereof." But 
the Princess answered her: "Mother, I have spoken to thee 
sensibly, and I have not lost my wits, but this is what hath 
happened to me; and if thou dost not believe it when I say 
it, ask my bridegroom." Then the Queen said to her: 
"Arise, now, my daughter, and away with such fancies from 
thy mind ; put on thy robes and view the bridal fete which 
is going on in the city in thy honour and the rejoicings that 
are taking place all over the realm for thy marriage ; and 
listen to the drums and songs, and look at these decorations, 
all done for the sake of pleasing thee, my daughter." There- 
upon the Queen summoned the tirewomen, and they robed 
the Lady Bedr-el-Budur and straightened her up. And the 
Queen arose and went to the Sultan and told him that the 
Princess had been troubled that night with dreams and night- 
mare, and added: "Chide her not for her lack of answer to 
thee." Then she summoned the Wezir's son secretly, and 
asked him concerning the matter, and whether the story of 
the Princess were true or not; but he, in his fear of losing 
his bride from out his hand, answered: "O my sovereign 
lady, I know nothing of what thou sayest." So the Queen 
was sure that her daughter had been distraught by nightmare 
and dreams. The festivities lasted all day, with 'Almehs 
and singers and the beating of all sorts of instruments, and 
the Queen and the Wezir and the Wezir's son did their 
utmost to keep up the rejoicing, so that the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur might be happy and forget her trouble; and all day 
they left nothing that incited to enjoyment undone before 
her, that she might forget what was in her mind and be 
content. But all this had no influence upon her; she 


remained silent and sad and bewildered at what had be- 
fallen her that night. Worse indeed had happened to the 
Wezir's son than to her, since he passed the night in a 
closet; but he had denied the fact and banished this 
calamity from his mind, because of his fear of losing his 
bride and his distinction, especially as all men envied him 
the connection and the exceeding honour thereof; and, 
moreover, because of the splendour of the bride's loveliness 
and her excessive beauty. 

'Ala-ed-Din too went out that day to see the festivities 
which were going on in the city and the palace, and he 
began to laugh, above all when he heard people talking of 
the honour w-hich had fallen to the Wezir's son and his 
good-fortune in becoming the son-in-law of the Sultan, and 
the great distinction shewn in his rejoicings and wedding 
festivities. And 'Ala-ed-Din said to himself: "Ye know 
not, ye rabble, what happened to him last night, that ye 
envy him !" And when night fell and it was bedtime, 'Ala- 
ed-Din arose and went to his chamber and rubbed the Lamp, 
and immediately the Slave presented himself. And he 
ordered him to bring the Sultan's daughter and her bride- 
groom as on the past night, before the Wezir's son had 
taken her to him. And the Slave waited not an instant, but 
vanished awhile, till he reappeared, bringing the bed in 
which was the Lady Bedr-el-Budur and the son of the Wezir. 
And he did with the latter as on the preceding night, — took 
and put him to sleep in a closet, and there left him bleached 
with excessive trembling and fear. And 'Ala-ed-Din arose 
and placed the sword betwixt himself and the Princess, and 
went to sleep. And when it was morning the Slave appeared 
and restored the pair to their own place ; and 'Ala-ed-Din 
was filled with delight at the misadventure of the Wezir's son. 

Now when the Sultan arose in the morning he desired 
to go to his daughter, Bedr-el-Budur, to see whether she 
would behave to him as on the preceding day. So. after he 
had shaken off his drowsiness, he arose and dressed himself 
and went to his daughter's palace and opened the door. 
Then the Wezir's son hastily got up and rose from the bed 
and began to put on his clothes, though his ribs almost split 
with cold ; for when the Sultan came in the Slave had only 


just brought them back. So the Sultan entered, and ap- 
proached his daughter Bedr-el-Budur, who was in bed; and 
drawing aside the curtain, he wished her good-morning, and 
kissed her betwixt the eyes, and inquired after her state. 
But he saw she was sad, and she answered him never a 
word, but looked at him angrily; and her state was wretched. 
Then the Sultan was wroth with her, since she replied not, 
and he fancied that something was wrong with her. So he 
drew his sword and said to her: "What hath come to thee? 
Tell me what hath happened to thee, or I will take thy life 
this very hour. Is this the honour and reverence thou 
shewest me, that I speak and thou repliest not a word?" 
And when the Lady Bedr-el-Budur saw how angry her father 
the Sultan was, and that his sword was drawn in his hand, 
she was released from her stupor of fear, and turned her 
head and said to him: "O my honoured father, be not 
wroth with me, nor be hasty in thy passion, for I am excus- 
able, as thou shalt see. Listen to what hath befallen me, 
and I am persuaded that when thou hast heard my account 
of what happened to me these two nights, thou wilt excuse 
me, and thy Felicity will become pitiful toward me, even as 
I claim thy love." Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur related to 
her father the Sultan all that had happened to her, adding: 
"O my father, if thou dost not believe me, ask the bride- 
groom, and he will tell thy Felicity the whole matter; though 
I knew not what they did with him when they took him 
away from, me, nor did I imagine where they had put him." 
When the Sultan heard the speech of his daughter, grief 
took hold of him and his eyes ran over with tears. And he 
sheathed the sword, and came and kissed her, saying: "O 
my daughter, why didst thou not tell me last night, that I 
might have averted this torment and fear which have fallen 
upon thee this night? However, it signifieth nothing. Arise 
and drive away from thee this fancy, and next night I will 
set a watch to guard thee, and no such unhappiness shall 
again make thee sad." And the Sultan returned to his 
palace, and straightway ordered the presence of the Wezir. 
And when he came and stood before him, he asked him : 
"O Wezir, what thinkest thou of this affair? Perchance 
thy son hath informed thee of what occurred to him and 


my daughter?" But the Wezir made answer: "O King of 
the Age, I have not seen my son, neither yesterday nor 
to-day." Then the Sultan told him all that his daughter the 
Princess Bedr-el-Budur had related, adding: "It is my 
desire now that thou find out from thy son the truth of the 
matter; for it may be that my daughter, from terror, did 
not understand what befell her, though I believe her story 
to be all true." 

So the Wezir arose and sent for his son and asked him 
concerning all that the Sultan had told him, whether it were 
true or not. And the youth replied: "O my father the 
Wezir, God forbid that the Lady Bedr-el-Budur should tell 
lies! Nay, all she said is true, and these two nights that 
have passed were the worst of nights, instead of being 
nights of pleasure and joy to us both. But what befell me 
was the greater evil, for, instead of sleeping with my bride 
in the bed, I was put to sleep in a closet, a cursed, dark, 
and loathsome place smelling horribly, and my ribs almost 
split with the cold." And the young man told his father 
all that had happened to him, and added. "O honoured 
parent, I entreat thee, speak to the Sultan that he release 
me from this marriage. Truly it is a great honour to me 
to be the son-in-law of the Sultan, and most of all since the 
love of the Lady Bedr-el-Budur hath taken possession of 
my being; but I have not stretigth to endure another night 
like the two which are over." 

When the Wezir heard his son's words he was exceeding 
sad and sorry, for he hoped to exalt and magnify his son 
by making him son-in-law to the Sultan; therefore he con- 
sidered and pondered over this case, how to remedy it. It 
was a great hardship to him to break off the marriage, for 
he had been much congratulated on his success in so high 
a matter. So he said to his son : "Take patience, my 
child, till we see what may betide this night, when we set 
warders to watch over you; and do not reject this great 
honour, which hath been granted to none save thee alone." 

Then the Wezir left him and returned to tlie Sultan and 
told him that what the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had said was 
true. Therefore the Sultan said: "If it be so. we must not 
delay." And he straightway ordered the rejoicings to cease 


and the marriage to be annulled. And the people and folk 
of the city wondered at this strange affair, and tne more so 
when they saw the Wezir and his son coming forth from the 
palace in a state of grief and excess of rage; and men 
began asking what had happened and what the cause might 
be for annulling the marriage and terminating the espousals. 
And none knew how it was save 'Ala-ed-Din, the lord of 
the invocation, who laughed in secret. So the marriage 
was dissolved, and still the Sultan forgot and recalled not 
the promise he had made to the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din, nor 
the Wezir either, and they knew not whence came that 
which had come. 

'Ala-ed-din waited in patience until the three months 
were over, after which the Sultan had covenanted to wed 
him to his daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. Then he 
instantly despatched his mother to the Sultan to demand of 
him the fulfilment of his promise. So the mother of 'Ala- 
ed-Din went to the palace ; and when the Sultan came to 
the hall of audience and saw her standing before him, he 
remembered his promise — that after three months he would 
marry his daughter to her son. And turning to the Wezir, 
he said : "O Wezir, this is the woman who gave us the 
jewels, and to whom we did pledge our word for three 
months. Bring her to me before anything else." So the 
Wezir went and brought 'Ala-ed-Din's mother before the 
Sultan ; and when she came up to him she saluted him and 
prayed for his glory and lasting prosperity. Then the Sultan 
asked her if she had any suit. Whereto she answered: "O 
King of the Age, verily the three months are over, for which 
thou didst covenant with me, after which to marry my son 
'Ala-ed-Din to thy daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur." 

The King was perplexed at this demand, the more when 
he observed her poor condition and that she was of the 
meanest of the people. Yet the present she had given him 
was exceedingly splendid, beyond his power to purchase. 
Then turning to the Wezir, he said : "What stratagem hast 
thou? Of a truth I pledged my word; yet it is evident to 
me that they are poor people, and not of high degree." 
And the Wezir, since envy was devouring him, and he was 
beyond everything grieved at what had befallen his son, 


said withi.i himself : "How shall one like this wed the 
daughter o*^ the Sultan and my son lose this honour?'' 5o 
he answered the Sultan : "O my lord, it is an easy thing to 
be rid of this stranger, for it is not fit that thy Felicity 
should give thy daughter to a man like this, — one knoweth 
not who he is." The Sultan replied: "In what way shall 
we ward off this man from us, when I have pledged my 
word, and the word of Kings is sacred?" The Wezir 
answered: "O my lord, my advice is that thou demand of 
him forty bowls of pure gold full of jewels, such as this 
woman brought thee that day, and forty maids to carry the 
bowls, and forty black slaves." And the Sultan said: "By 
Allah, O Wezir, thou hast said well, for he cannot compass 
this thing, and thus we shall be freed from him." Then he 
said to the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din : "Go, tell thy son that 
I hold to the promise which I made to him, provided he be 
able to furnish my daughter's dowry, for which I require of 
him forty bowls of pure gold, each full of jewels, such as 
thou didst bring me, and forty maids to carry them, and 
forty black slaves to attend and escort them. If thy son 
can do this I will marry him to my daughter." 

So the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din returned to her house 
shaking her head and saying : "Whence shall my poor son 
procure these bowls of jewels? Suppose he return to the 
Treasury and gather these jewels and bowls from the trees, 
yet with all this, — and I do not think he can, but say that 
he acquire them, — whence will he get the maids and slaves?" 
And she ceased not to commune with herself until she 
arrived at her house, where 'Ala-ed-Din was expecting her. 
And when she came in, she said: "O my son, did I not 
tell thee not to think that thou couldst attain to the Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur, and that such a thing was not possible for 
people like us?" And he said to her: "Explain to me 
what tidings there be." And she said : "O my son, verily 
the Sultan received me with all honour, as is his wont, and 
it is evident to me that his intentions towards us are benev- 
olent. But thy enemy is the accursed Wezir ; for after I 
had spoken to the Sultan, according to thy tongue (as thou 
saidst, 'Verily the time is come for which thou didst 
covenant'), and after I had said to him, ' \'erily it behoves 


thy Felicity to order the wedding of thy daughter the Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur to my son ' Ala-ed-Din,' he turned to the 
Wezir and spake to him ; and he answered him secretly ; 
and afterward the Sultan gave me his answer." Then she 
told 'Ala-ed-Din what the Sultan required, and said to him : 
'' O my son, verily he requireth of thee an immediate reply, 
and methinks we have no answer for him." 

When 'Ala-ed-Din heard the words of his mother, he 
laughed and said : " O my mother, thou sayest that we have 
no answer for him, and considerest the affair exceeding 
hard; but compose thy mind, and arise, bring me something 
to eat, and after we have eaten, if the Compassionate please, 
thou shalt see my answer. And the Sultan like thee, think- 
eth he hath required an enormous thing, in order to keep 
me from the Lady Bedr-el-Budur; though really he hath 
asked a smaller thing than I expected. But do thou arise, 
and fetch me somewhat to eat, and trust me to provide 
the answer for thee." So his mother arose and went forth 
to fetch what was needed from the market to prepare din- 
ner. And 'Ala-ed-Din went into his chamber, and took 
the Lamp and rubbed it, and immediately there appeared 
to him the Slave, who said : " O my master, ask what thou 
desirest." And 'Ala-ed-Din answered : "I have demanded 
the daughter of the Sultan in marriage, and the Sultan hath 
required of me forty bowls of pure gold, each weighing ten 
pounds, and they must be full of the jewels which are in the 
garden of the Treasury ; and to carry them there must be 
forty maids, and to each maid a slave, forty slaves in all. 
So I desire of thee that thou bring me all these." And the 
Jinni said: "I hear and obey, O my master," and vanished 
for the space of an hour, when he brought forty maids, and 
with each maid a eunuch, and on each maid's head a bowl 
of fine gold full of precious stones. And he set them before 
'Ala-ed-Din, saying: "Here is thy wish: tell me then if 
thou hast need of any affair or service beside this." But 
'Ala-ed-Din answered: "I need nothing else; but if I re- 
quire anything I will summon thee and inform thee there- 
of." So the Slave vanished. And presently 'Ala-ed-Din's 
mother appeared and entered the house, and perceived the 
slaves and maids. And she marvelled, saying: "All this 


is from the Lamp. God preserve it for my son !" And 
as she was about to raise her veil, 'Ala-ed-Din said to her: 
" O my mother, this is the moment for thee, before the 
Sultan goes in to his seraglio, to his family. Take thou to 
him that which he demanded, and go to him forthwith, that 
he may know that I am able to do what he required, and 
more also. Verily he is deceived by the Wezir, and they 
both think to foil me." Thereupon 'Ala-ed-Din arose and 
opened the door of the house, and the maids and the slaves 
came forth side by side, each maid with a eunuch beside 
her, till they filled the street. And 'Ala-ed-Din's mother 
went before them. And the people flocked to the street 
when they saw this mighty, wonderful sight, and stood 
diverting themselves and marvelling and observing the 
forms of the damsels and their beauty and loveliness ; for 
they all wore dresses embroidered with gold and trimmed 
with jewels, none worth less than a thousand dinars. And 
the folk gazed upon the bowls, and saw that the lustre 
transcended the light of the sun. Over each was a piece of 
brocade embroidered with gold and studded with precious 
stones. And the people of the quarter stood wondering at 
this strange spectacle. But 'Ala-ed-Din's mother walked 
on, and the damsels and slaves marched behind her, in all 
order and precision, and the people stopped to examine the 
beauty of the -damsels, and glorified God the great Creator; 
and so they arrived and entered with 'Ala-ed-Din's mother, 
the palace of the Sultan. And when the aghas and cham- 
berlains and officers of the army saw them, wonder gat hold 
of them and they were amazed at this sight, the like of which 
they had never witnessed in all their born days, above all, 
such damsels, every one of whom would turn the head of an 
anchorite. And although the chamberlain and officers of 
the Sultan's troops were all sons of grandees and nobles, yet 
they were astonished beyond measure at the costly dresses 
which the damsels wore, and the bowls upon their heads, 
which they could not gaze full upon by reason of their 
excessive flashing and dazzle. 

Then the guard went in and informed the Sultan, and he 
at once ordered that they should be brought before him in 
the Hall of Audience. So 'Ala-ed-Din's mother came in 


with them; and when they appeared before the Sultan, they 
all saluted him with due reverence and worship, and they 
invoked blessings on his glory and good-fortune. Then 
they took the bowls from their heads and set them before 
him, and removed their coverings, and then stood respect- 
fully. The Sultan marvelled with great admiration, and 
was bewildered at the splendour of the jewels and their 
loveliness, which transcended praise; and his wits were 
turned when he looked at the golden bowls full of precious 
stones, which captivated the sight ; and he was confounded 
at this marvel till he became as the dumb, and could not 
say a word from excess of wonder. And his mind was 
the more perplexed how all this could have come about 
in the space of an hour. Then he gave commandment 
that the damsels with the bowls should enter the palace of 
the Lady Bedr-el-Budur ; so they took up their loads and 
went in. 

After that, the mother of 'Ala-ed-Din came and said to 
the Sultan : "O my lord, this is not a great thing wherewith 
to do honour to the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, for she merits the 
double of this [dower]." Then the Sultan turned to the 
Wezir and said: "What sayest thou, O Wezir? He who 
can procure such riches as these in so short a time, is he 
not worthy to be the Sultan's son-in-law and the daughter 
of the Sultan his bride ? " But the Wezir, although he 
marvelled at the vastness of these riches, more even than 
the Sultan, yet, being devoured by envy, which grew stronger 
and stronger when he saw how content the "Stiltan was with 
the dower and riches, and though he could not disguise the 
truth, answered : " It is not worthy of her." And he was 
devising a plan for the Sultan, that he might not give his 
daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to 'Ala-ed-Din, and ac- 
cordingly he went on : " O my lord, all the treasures of the 
universe are not equal to the little finger of thy daughter. 
Thy Highness hath overvalued these presents as against 
her." When the Sultan heard these words of the Wezir, he 
perceived that they arose from excess of envy. So turning 
to 'Ala-ed-Din's mother, he said : " O woman, go to thy 
son, and tell him that I have accepted the dowry and I 
stand by my promise. My daughter is his bride and he 


my son-in-law ; and bid him come hither, in order that I 
may know him. He shall have naught but honour and 
esteem from me. And this night shall begin the wedding; 
only, as I said, let him come to me without delay." 

Then 'Ala-ed-Din's mother returned home with the speed 
of the wind, and abated not the quickness of her pace, in 
order to congratulate her son. She flew with joy at think- 
ing that her child was going to become the son-in-law of 
the Sultan. After she had gone, the Sultan dismissed the 
audience and entered the apartments of the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, and bade them bring the damsels and the bowls 
before her that she might look at them. And when they 
brought them and the Princess examined the jewels, she 
was amazed and said : " Methinks there is not found in 
the treasuries of the universe a single gem like these ! " 
Then she gazed upon the damsels and marvelled at their 
beauty and grace. And she knew that all this was from 
her new bridegroom, who had sent it in her service. So 
she rejoiced, though she had been sorrowful and sad on 
account of her bridegroom the son of the Wezir. Yet she 
rejoiced with great joy when she looked upon the jewels 
and the beauty of the damsels ; and she made merry, and 
her father was greatly delighted at her cheerfulness, because 
he saw that her sadness and grief had departed from her. 
Then he asked her, saying: "O my daughter. Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, does this astonish thee? Methinks this bridegroom 
of thine is goodlier than the Wezir's son ; and presently, 
please God, O my daughter, thou shalt enjoy supreme de- 
light with him." Thus was it with the Sultan. 

As for 'Ala-ed-Din, when his mother returned and entered 
the house, laughing in the excess of her joy, and he saw her 
so, he scented good news, and said: "To God be praise 
everlasting! My desire is now accomplished.'' And his 
mother said : "Good news for thee, O my child ! Cheer 
thy heart, and refresh thine eye for the fulfilment of thy 
wish. The Sultan hath accepted thy present, the riches and 
portion and dowry of the Lady Bedr-el-Budur ; and she is 
thy bride, and this night, O my son, is the wedding and thy 
union with the Princess. To assure me of his promise the 
Sultan hath proclaimed thee before the world as his son-in- 


law, and saith that to-night is the consummation. More- 
over, he said to me : * Let thy son come to me, that I may 
become acquainted with him and welcome him with all 
honour and regard.' And here am I, my son ; my task is 
over; happen what may, it is now thy own affair." 

Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose and kissed his mother's hand 
and thanked her, and magnified her goodness to him, and 
went and entered his chamber and took the Lamp and 
rubbed it, and behold, the Slave appeared, saying, " At 
thy service ! Ask what thou desirest." So 'Ala-ed-Din 
answered : " I desire thee to take me to a bath the equal 
of which existeth not in the universe; and bring me there 
a dress so royal and exceeding costly that Kings possess 
not its match." And the Marid replied, " I hear and obey." 
And he lifted him and took him into a bath such as Kings 
and Emperors never saw, all of marble and carnelian, with 
wonderful pictures which captivated the eye; and not a soul 
was there. In it was a hall studded over with splendic' 
jewels, which when 'Ala-ed-Din entered, there came to him 
one of the Jann in human shape, who washed and kneaded 
him to the top of his bent. After which 'Ala-ed-Din went^ 
from the bath into the spacious hall, and found his old 
clothes gone and in their place a suit of royal robes. Then 
there was brought to him sherbet and coffee flavoured with 
ambergris. And he drank and arose, and a number of 
slaves appeared before him, and clad him in resplendent 
clothes, and he was dressed and perfumed and scented. 
Though 'Ala-ed-Din was, in fact, a poor tailor's son, none 
would have supposed it, but rather would say : " This is the 
greatest of the sons of the Kings. Extolled be he who 
changeth others but himself changeth not ! " Then the 
Jinni came and lifted him and returned him to his house, 
and said: "O my master, hast thou further need?" And 
'Ala-ed-Din replied: "Yes, I want thee to bring me forty- 
eight memluks, twenty-four to go before me and twenty- 
four to follow me, with their chargers and habiliments and 
arms; and everything on them and their horses must be of 
the very costliest, such as is not in the treasuries of Kings. 
Then bring me a stallion fit for the Caesars, and let his 
housings be of gold studded over with magnificent jewels; 


and bring me forty-eight thousand dinars, to each memluk 
a thousand. For I wish to go to the Sultan's presence. 
So delay not, since without all these things of which I have 
told thee I cannot visit him. Bring me also twelve damsels; 
they must be of peerless beauty, and clad in the most 
sumptuous raiment, that they may accompany my mother 
to the palace of the Sultan. And let each damsel be attired 
like the King's ladies." And the Slave answered, "I hear 
and obey." And vanishing awhile, he brought him in the 
twinkling of an eye, all that he had commanded; and he 
led a steed the fellow of which did not exist among the 
horses of the Arabs, and his housings were of gorgeous 
cloth of gold. 

'Ala-ed-Din sent for his mother at once, and delivered 
to her the twelve maidens, and gave her robes that she 
might be robed, when the damsels would escort her to the 
palace of the Sultan. And he sent one of the memluks 
which the Jinni had brought him to the Sultan, to ascertain 
whether he had come forth from his harem or not. So the 
memluk went quicker than lightning, and returned to him 
speedily, saying: "O my master, the Sultan expecteth thee." 
Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose and mounted and the memluks 
rode before him and behind him. And they were such as to 
make all men cry : "Extolled be the Lord who created 
them in such perfection of beauty and grace ! " And they 
scattered gold among the people before their master 'Ala- 
ed-Din, who excelled them in beauty and comeliness, — and 
make no mention of the sons of Kings ! Extolled be the 
/Bountiful, the Eternal! And all this came by virtue of the 
Wonderful Lamp^ which whoso possessed, it brought him 
beauty and loveliness and wealth and wisdom. And the 
people were astonished at the generosity of 'Ala-ed-Din and 
his excessive bounty, and were distraught as they gazed 
upon his beauty and comeliness and grace and courtliness. 
And they extolled the Compassionate for this his noble 
creation ; and all blessed him, though they knew he was 
the son of Such-an-one the tailor; and none was envious of 
him, but all pronounced him worthy of his luck. 

Thus was the crowd dazzled by 'Ala-ed-Din and his 
bounty and generosity, as he was going to the palace, 


scattering gold. And they blessed him, great and small, 
till he reached the palace, with the memluks before and 
behind him distributing largesse to the people. Now the 
Sultan had assembled the grandees of the state, and in- 
formed them that he had given his word for the marriage of 
his daughter to 'Ala-ed-Din. And he bade them await his 
coming, and then go forth, one and all, and receive him. 
And he sent for the emirs and the wezirs and chamberlains 
and gentlemen of the guard and officers of the army, and 
they were all in waiting for 'Ala-ed-Din at the gate of the 
palace. Now when 'Ala-ed-Din arrived he would have dis- 
mounted at the gate, but one of the emirs whom the Sultan 
had appointed for the office approached and said : "O my 
master, the order is that thou enter and remain mounted on 
thy charger till thou comest to the gate of the Hall of 
Audience." And they all marched before him and escorted 
him to the gate of the Divan, when some of them approached 
and held his stirrup, and others supported him on each side 
or took him by the hand, and the emirs and officers of state 
went before him and led him into the Hall of Audience close 
to the royal throne. Then the Sultan descended at once 
from his throne, and clasped him to his breast, and for- 
bidding him to kiss the ground, kissed him and seated him 
beside him on his right. And 'Ala-ed-Din did as was 
proper towards Kings, in giving salutations and benedic- 
tions, saying: "O our lord the Sultan, verily the generosity 
of thy Felicity caused thee to vouchsafe me the Lady Bedr- 
el-Budur thy daughter, although I am not worthy of so great 
an honour, since I am of the meanest of thy slaves. And I 
beg God to prolong thy life perpetually. But in truth, O 
King, my tongue is powerless to thank thee for the greatness 
of the surpassing favours with which thou hast overwhelmed 
me. And I beg of thy Felicity that thou give me a piece of 
land where I may build a palace suitable for the Lady Bedr- 
el-Budur." And the Sultan was bewildered as he gazed 
upon 'Ala-ed-Din in his princely robes, and looked upon 
him and considered his beauty and comeliness, and saw 
the memluks arrayed for his service and their handsome 
apparel. And his wonder increased when 'Ala-ed-Din's 
mother approached in her costly attire, sumptuous as though 


she had been a Queen ; and when he perceived the twelve 
damsels attending her standing before her in all respect and 
worship. Further, the Sultan considered the eloquence of 
*Ala-ed-Din, and the refinement of his language, and was 
astounded at it, he and all those who were with him at the 
levee. And fire was kindled in the heart of the Wezir for 
envy of 'Ala-ed-Din, till he almost died. Then the Sultan, 
after hearing 'Ala-ed-Din's benedictions, and perceiving the 
loftiness of his bearing and his deference and eloquence, 
pressed him to his bosom and kissed him, saying: 'Alas 
for me, my son, that I have not enjoyed thy company till 
this day ! " 

When the Sultan saw *Ala-ed-Din in this respect he re- 
joiced with great joy, and immediately ordered the music 
and band to play. And he arose and took 'Ala-ed-Din and 
led him into the palace, where supper was made ready and 
the servants had laid the tables. So the Sultan sat down 
and seated 'Ala-ed-Din on his right; and the wezirs also 
sat, and the grandees of the state and lords of the realm, all 
of them in their degree; and the band played, and they 
made very merry in the palace. And the Sultan waxed 
friendly with 'Ala-ed-Din and conversed with him, and he 
answered with all courtliness and eloquence, as though he 
had been brought up in the palaces of Kings and had been 
their familiar. And the longer the conversation lasted be- 
tween them the greater became the Sultan's joy and satisfac- 
tion, as he listened to his graceful replies and the charm of 
his eloquence. 

After they had eaten and drunk and removed the tables, 
the Sultan commanded to bring the Kadis and witnesses, 
and they came and tied the knot and wrote the contract of 
marriage between 'Ala-ed-Din and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. 
After this 'Ala-ed-Din arose and would have gone out, but 
the Sultan stopped him. saying: "Whither, O my son? 
The festivities are beginning and the wedding is ready, and 
the knot is tied and the contract written." But he answered : 
"O my lord the King, it is my intention to build a palace 
for the Lady Bcdr-el-Budur befitting her rank and station ; 
and it is impossible that T should enter in to her before this 
is done. But, please God, the building shall be finished in 


the briefest space by the energj' of thy servant and the 
countenance of thy Felicity. And for me, much as I long 
for union now with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, yet it behoveth 
me to serve her and to do so first." So the SuUan said to 
him : " O my son, choose the land which thou deemest fit 
for thy project; take it altogether into thy hands; but the 
best place would be here in front of my palace on the open 
plain ; then if thou so fanciest build the palace there."' 
" This," said *Ala-ed-Din, " is the height of my desire, to be 
near thy Felicity." 

Therefore 'Ala-ed-Din took leave of the Sultan and went 
forth riding with his memluks before and behind him. And 
all the world blessed him and said, " By Allah, he is worthy !" 
till he reached his house. There he alighted from his horse 
and entered his chamber and rubbed the Lamp, and, behold, 
the Slave appeared before him and said : " Ask what thou 
wilt, O my master." So 'Ala-ed-Din said: "I require thee 
to do me an important service, which is to build me with all 
speed a palace in front of the Sultan's Serai ; and let it be 
marvellous in its construction, such as Kings have not seen, 
and perfect in its fittings of stately furniture fit for princes; 
and so forth." And the Slave replied, " I hear and obey," 
and vanished. But before the break of dawn he came to 
'Ala-ed-Din and said: "O my master, the palace is finished 
to the utmost of thy desire, and if thou wish to see it, arise 
at once and look at it." So 'Ala-ed-Din arose, and the 
Slave bore him in the twinkling of an eye to the palace. 
And when he saw it, he was astounded at its construction, 
for all its stones were of jasper and alabaster and porphyry 
and mosaics. Then the Slave took him into a treasury full 
of all sorts of gold and silver and precious stones, not to be 
numbered or estimated or appraised or valued. And again, 
he took him into another room, where he saw all the table 
equipments, plates and dishes, ewers and basins, of gold 
and silver, and likewise flagons and goblets; and he led him 
to the kitchen, where he saw the scullions with all their 
requisites and cooking utensils, all of gold and silver; and 
next to a chamber full of chests packed with royal raiment, 
such as captivated the reason, brocades from India and 
China, and embroideries. Again he led him to numerous 


rooms all full of what defieth description; and then to the 
stables, where he found horses the like of which were not 
found among the Kings in all the world ; and from there he 
took him to the saddle-room, which was full of costly harness 
and saddles, studded with pearls and fine stones and the 
like. And all this was done in a single night. 'Ala-ed-Din 
was astounded and distraught at the vastness of these riches, 
which the mightiest sovereign on earth could not compass. 
And the palace was full of servants and maidens whose 
loveliness would tempt a saint. But the most wonderful of 
all the things to be seen in the palace was a pavilion or 
kiosk with twenty-four bays, all of emeralds and diamonds 
and other jewels; and one bay was not finished by 'Ala-ed- 
Din's wish, in order that the Sultan might be unequal to 
completing it. 

When 'Ala-ed-Din had surveyed the palace in every 
part, he rejoiced and was greatly delighted. Then turning 
to the Slave, he said: " I desire one thing of thee, which is 
still lacking, and of which I forgot to tell thee." And the 
Slave said: " Ask on, O my master, whatsoever thou wishest." 
So he said: "I desire of thee a carpet of splendid brocade, 
and let it be all worked with gold, and such that when 
spread it shall reach from my palace to that of the Sultan, 
so that the Lady Bedr-el-Budur when she cometh hither may 
walk upon it and not tread upon the bare ground." So the 
Slave went away for a while, and on his return said: " O my 
master, what thou didst ask of me is done." And he took 
and shewed him a carpet which captivated the reason, and 
it stretched from palace to palace. Then the Slave carried 
'Ala-ed-Din back to his house. 

At this moment it was already dawn, and the Sultan 
arose from sleep and opened the window of his chamber 
and looked out, and in front of his palace he perceived a 
building; so he began to rub his eyes, and opened them 
wide to observe it. And he saw a great palace, bewildering 
the wits; and he gazed upon the carpet laid down from his 
own palace to that other. And in like manner the door- 
keepers and all the royal household were perplexed in their 
minds at this thing. J"st then the Wezir came in, and as 
he came he perceived the new palace and the carpet, and he 


too marvelk.d. And when the Sultan entered, the two be- 
gan talking of this strange spectacle, and wondering at the 
sight of this thing, which dazzled the sight and delighted the 
heart, saying: "Of a truth, the like of this palace could not, 
we imagine, be built by Kings." And the Sultan turned to 
the Wezir and said: "Dost thou see now that 'Ala-ed-Din 
is worthy to mate my daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, after 
seeing and considering this royal edifice and these riches 
which the mind of man could not conceive?" But the 
Wezir, on account of his £p.vy of 'Ala-ed-Din, answered: 
"O King of the Age, verily this building and this edifice 
and these riches could not exist save by means of magic, 
for no man alive, be he the chiefest in authority or the 
greatest in wealth, could complete this edifice in a single 
night." Then answered the Sultan : "It is a wonder to me 
how thou art always imputing evil to 'Ala-ed-Din; meseems, 
however, that it proceedeth from thy envy of him ; for thou 
wast present thyself when I gave him this land, when he 
asked me for a site to build a palace on for my daughter, 
•and I granted him this piece of land for his palace before 
thine eyes. But shall he who bringeth such a dowry of 
jewels for my daughter as Kings possess not even a few 
thereof, shall he be unequal to building a palace like this?" 

When the Wezir heard the Sultan's words, and perceived 
that he loved 'Ala-ed-Din greatly, his jealousy increased; 
only, as he could not do anything to avert it, he watched 
and could not answer the Sultan a word. But as to 'Ala-ed- 
Din, when he saw that it was morning, and the time had 
come for him to go to the palace, because his wedding fete 
w'as going on, and the emirs and wezirs and grandees of 
state had collected about the Sultan in order to be present 
at the wedding, he arose and rubbed the Lamp and the 
Slave appeared to him and said : "O my master, ask what 
thou desirest, for I am here at thy service." So 'Ala-ed-Din 
answered: "I intend to go now to the Sultan's palace, as 
this is my wedding-day, and I need ten thousand dinars 
which I wish thee to bring me." Then the Slave vanished 
for the twinkling of an eye and returned with the ten 
thousand dinars. Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose and mounted, and 
there rode with him his memluks, before and behind. And 


he proceeded to the palace, scattering gold to the crowd as 
he went, so that they were filled with affection for him, and 
his dignity was enhanced thereby. And when he arrived at 
the palace, and the emirs and aghas and guards who were 
drawn up in waiting saw him, they hastened immediately to 
the Sultan and apprised him. Then the Sultan arose and 
met him and embraced and kissed him, and holding him by 
the hand led him into the palace and sat down and seated 
him at his side on the right; while the whole town was 
decorated, and the musical instruments resounded in the 
palace, and the singers sang. Then the Sultan commanded 
that the banquet should be served, and the eunuchs and 
memluks hastened to lay the tables, which were such as befit 
Kings. And 'Ala-ed-Din and the Sultan and the grandees of 
the realm and the chief officers of state sat down and ate and 
drank till they were satisfied. And there were great re- 
joicings in the palace and the city; and all the nobles were 
delighted, and the people in all the kingdom rejoiced; and 
the rulers of provinces and chiefs of departments from distant 
regions came to see the wedding of 'Ala-ed-Din and the 
festivities. And the Sultan wondered in his mind at 'Ala- 
ed-Din's mother — how she used to come to him in shabby 
clothes when her son possessed such vast wealth. And the 
people who came to the Sultan's palace to w'itness the fetes 
of 'Ala-ed-Din, when they saw his new palace and the beauty 
of the building, marvelled greatly how a splendid palace like 
that could be finished in a single night. And they fell to 
blessing 'Ala-ed-Din. and saying: "God give him enjoyment! 
By Allah, verily he deserveth it ! God bless his days !" 

When 'Ala-ed-Din had finished the banquet he arose and 
took leave of the Sultan, and mounting, he and his memluks 
proceeded to his palace, to prepare for the reception of his 
bride the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. And all the people cheered 
him with one shout as he went: " God give thee enjoyment! 
God increase thy glory! God prolong thy life!" And a 
vast concourse accompanied him as far as his home, while 
he scattered gold amongst them. When he was come to his 
palace, he dismounted and entered it and seated himself on 
the divan, and the memluks stood attentive before him; and 
presently they brought him sherbets. After which he gave 


command to his memluks and maidens, eunuchs and all his 
household, to prepare for the reception of the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur his bride. Now when it was afternoon and the air 
had become cool and the heat of the sun had abated, the 
Sultan ordered the troops and emirs of the state and wezirs 
to descend into the Aleydan or riding-ground; so they all 
went down, and the Sultan with them. And 'Ala-ed-Diu 
arose, and mounted with his memluks, and went down also 
to the Meydan. And he displayed his horsemanship, playing 
with the Jerid" in the Meydan, so that none could stand 
against him. He was riding a stallion the like of which did 
not exist among the horses of the purest Arabs. And his 
bride the Lady Bedr-el-Budur watched him from a window 
of her apartments, and seeing his grace and horsemanship, 
she fell violently in love with him, and almost flew with joy. 
When they had jousted round the Meydan and had each 
shewn what horsemanship he possessed, and 'Ala-ed-Din the 
best of them all, the Sultan proceeded to his palace, and 
'Ala-ed-Din returned to his own. 

And when it was evening, the nobles and wezirs came 
and took 'Ala-ed-Din and conducted him in procession to 
the bath called Imperial, which he entered, and was bathed 
and perfumed, and coming forth put on a dress more gorgeous 
than before. Then he mounted, and the guards and emirs 
rode before him, and escorted him in stately progress, while 
four of the wezirs surrounded him with drawn swords. And 
all the people, natives and strangers alike, and all the troops, 
marched before him in procession, bearing candles and drums 
and pipes and instruments of joy and revel, till they arrived 
at his palace, where he dismounted, and entering, seated 
himself. And the wezirs and emirs who were with him sat 
also; and the memluks brought sherbets and sweet drinks, 
and served all the crowd who had come with him in pro- 
cession — a multitude past numbering. And *Ala-ed-Din 
ordered his memluks to go forth from the palace gate and 
scatter gold among the crowd. When the Sultan returned 
from the Meydan and entered his palace, he forthwith 
ordered them to form a procession for his daughter the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur, to escort her to her bridegroom's 

' Javelin of palm. 


palace. Thereupon the guards and officers of state who 
had taken part in 'Ala-ed-Din's progress, mounted, and the 
handmaids and eunuchs brought forth tapers and escorted 
the Lady Bedr-el-Budur in a stately procession till they 
brought her to her bridegroom's palace. 'Ala-ed-Din's 
mother walked beside her; and in front were the wives of 
the wezirs and the emirs and grandees and chief officers; 
and along with her were the eight-and-forty damsels which 
*Ala-ed-Din had given her, each carrying in her hand a tall 
taper of camphor and ambergris set in a candlestick of gold 
inlaid with jewels. And they all went forth with her from 
the seraglio, men and women, and marched before her till 
they came to her groom's palace, when they took her to her 
apartments, and changed her dress and displayed her. And 
when the displaying was over they led her to the chamber 
of her bridegroom, 'Ala-ed-Din, and he went in to her. 

Now his mother was with the bride, and when he came 
to unveil her, his mother began to observe the beauty of the 
bride and her loveliness. And she looked at the chamber 
she was in, all sparkling with gold and jewels; and there 
were lustres of gold all set with emeralds and rubies. And 
she said within herself: " I used to think the Sultan's palace 
magnificent, but this chamber is unique. Methinks not one 
of the greatest of Emperors and Kings ever attained to its 
like, and I do not believe that all the world could make a 
chamber like this." And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur also began 
to look and wonder at this palace and its splendour. Then 
the tables were laid, and they all ate and drank and made 
merry ; after which eighty handmaidens came before them, 
each with an instrument of joy and revel in her hand; and 
they stretched their fingers and touched the strings and 
evolved harmonious modulations till they rent the hearts 
of the hearers. And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur wondered the 
more, and said within herself: "Never in my life have I 
heard songs like these," till she left off eating and gave her- 
self up to listening. And 'Ala-cd-Din poured out wine for 
her and gave it her with his own hand. And content and 
great rejoicing fell upon them, and it was a glorious night, 
such as Alexander, Lord of the two Horns, never spent in 
his time. And when they had done eating and drinking 


and the tables were taken away, 'Ala-ed-Din arose and went 
in to his bride. 

And when it w^as morning 'Ala-ed-Din arose, and the 
treasurer brought him a splendid costly suit of the richest 
of the robes of Kings. And he dressed, and they brought 
him coffee with ambergris, and he drank; and then ordered 
the horses to be saddled, and mounted, and his memluks 
rode before and behind him. And he proceeded to the 
palace of the Sultan, and as soon as he had arrived and 
entered, the servants went and informed the Sultan of his 
arrival ; who, when he heard of it, arose straightway to meet 
him, and embraced and kissed him as though he were his 
son, and seated him on his right. And the wezirs and emirs 
and officers of state and nobles of the realm blessed him, 
and the Sultan blessed and congratulated him. And he 
ordered breakfast to be brought, and they all breakfasted. 
And when they had eaten and drunk their fill, and the 
servants had removed the tables from before them, 'Ala-ed- 
Din turned to the Sultan and said: "O my lord, will thy 
Felicity deign to honour me this day to dinner with the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur, thy well-beloved daughter, accompanied 
by all the wezirs and nobles of thy realm?" And the Sultan, 
being charmed with him, answered: "Thou art too hos- 
pitable, O my son." And forthwith he ordered the wezirs 
and officers of state and grandees of the realm, and arose 
and took horses, and they likewise, and 'Ala-ed-Din rode 
with them till they came to the new palace. And when the 
Sultan had entered and considered the building and its con- 
struction and masonry, which was of jasper and carne- 
lian, his reason was confounded and distraught at this 
splendour and wealth and magnificence. And turning to 
the Wezir, he asked: "What sayest thou, O Wezir? Hast 
thou seen in all thy time a thing like this, or is there to be 
found among the Kings of the world such wealth and gold 
and jewels as we see here in this palace?" And the Wezir 
replied: "O my lord the King, this is a thing that is not 
within the reach of any King of the sons of Adam, and all 
the people of the world could not have built a palace like 
this, nor could masons construct such a work, except, as I 
said to thy Felicity, by the power of magic." But the Sultan 


knew that the Wezir could never speak without envy of 
'Ala-ed-Din, and wished to prove to the SuUan that all this 
was not done by strength of man, but wholly by force of 
magic. So the Sultan answered him: "Enough, O Wezir; 
thou hast no more to say ; and I know the reason of thy 
speaking thus." 

Then 'Ala-ed-Din walked before the Sultan till they came 
to the upper kiosk, where he looked at the ceiling and 
windows and lattices all set with emeralds and rubies and 
other precious stones, and he was astonished and astounded 
and his wits were confounded, and he was distraught in his 
mind. Then the Sultan began to wander about the kiosk 
and look at things which captivated the reason. And he 
perceived the bay which 'Ala-ed-Din had purposely left 
unfinished. And when the Sultan had examined it and 
saw that it was not complete, he cried : "Woe to thee, O 
bay, that thou art not perfect !" And turning to the Wezir, 
he said: "Knowest thou the cause of the unfinished state of 
this bay and its lattices?" And he replied: "O my lord, I 
think this window is left unfinished on account of thy 
Felicity hastening the wedding of 'Ala-ed-Din, so that he 
had not time to finish it." At that moment 'Ala-ed-Din 
had gone to his bride, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, to apprise 
her of the visit of her father the Sultan. But when he 
returned, the latter asked him : "O my son 'Ala-ed-Din, 
what is the reason that this bay of the kiosk is not com- 
plete?" And 'Ala-ed-Din replied: "O King of the Age, in 
consequence of the hurry of the wedding I could not get 
workmen to finish it." Then said the Sultan : "It is a 
fancy of mine to complete it myself." "God continue thy 
glory, O King," answered 'Ala-cd-Din. "So shall thy 
memory be perpetuated in thy daughter's palace." Then 
the Sultan ordered them to bring the jewellers and gold- 
smiths, and commanded that they should be furnished 
from the treasury with all they wanted of gold and jewels 
and minerals ; and when they were assembled he bade them 
complete what was lacking in the lattice of the kiosk. 

Meanwhile the Lady Bedr-el-Budur came to meet her 
father the Sultan, and as she drew near he noticed her face 
was smiling; so he embraced and kissed her. and led her 


into the kiosk, where all entered together. It was the time 
of the noon meal, and one table was prepared for the Sultan 
and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur and 'Ala-ed-Din, and a second 
for the Wezirs and lords of state and grandees of the realm 
and officers of the army and chamberlains and gentlemen 
of the guard. 

Then the Sultan seated himself between his daughter 
and his son-in-law. And when he stretched forth his 
hand to the food and tasted it, he was filled with surprise 
at the viands and the admirable and savoury cookery. And 
before him stood eighty damsels, each of whom might say 
to the full moon: "Get up, that I may seat myself in thy 
stead!" And they all held instruments of joy and revel in 
their hands, and tuned them, and stretched out their fingers 
and touched the strings, and drew forth melodious strains, 
which would expand the heart of the sorrowful. And the 
Sultan was delighted. The moment was agreeable, and he 
was happy, and said: "Verily this thing transcendeth the 
power of Emperors and Kings." So they fell to eating and 
drinking, and the cup went round among them till they 
were satisfied; then fruits and sweetmeats and the like were 
brought and served in another apartment, whither they 
repaired and took their fill of these delights. Then the 
Sultan arose to look at the work of the jewellers and gold- 
smiths, and see if it resembled that of the palace. So he 
ascended to them and inspected their work and how they 
had progressed ; but he perceived a strong contrast, and 
that they were unable to produce such work as the palace 
of 'Ala-ed-Din. They told him that they had brought all 
the jewels they could find in the [ordinary] treasury, but it 
was not enough. Upon this he ordered the Great Treasury 
to be opened, and gave them what they wanted; and [said 
that] if that were still insufficient, they might take the present 
which 'Ala-ed-Din had given him. So the jewellers took all 
the precious stones which the Sultan allowed, and they 
worked with them and again found that they had not 
enough, and were unable to complete half what remained 
unfinished of the lattices of the kiosk. Thereupon the 
Sultan commanded them to seize all the jewels which they 
might find among the wezirs and grandees of the state. So 



the jewellers took them all and continued their task, and 
even so there was not enough. 

When morning came, 'Ala-ed-Din ascended to see how 
the jewellers had worked, and perceived that they had not 
completed half the deficient bay. So he immediately or- 
dered them to take down all that they had done and return 
the jewels to their owners. So they undid it all, and sent 
to the Sultan what was his, and to the wezirs what was 
theirs. Then the jewellers went to the Sultan and told them 
that 'Ala-ed-Din had ordered them thus. And he asked 
them : " What did he say ? What was his reason, and why 
was he not pleased that the bay should be finished, and why 
did he demolish what ye had done?" They answered: 
" O our lord, we have no knowledge at all, but he bade us 
demolish all we had done." Thereupon the Sultan called 
for his horses and mounted and went to 'Ala-ed-Din's 

Now 'Ala-ed-Din, after dismissing the goldsmiths and 
jewellers retired into his closet, and rubbed the Lamp, when 
the Slave instantly appeared, saying : " Ask whatsoever thou 
desirest, for thy Slave is in thy hands." And 'Ala-ed-Din 
said : " I wish thee to finish the bay that was left incom- 
plete." " On the head and also the eye," answered the 
Slave, and vanished, but shortly returned, saying : " O my 
lord, that which thou didst command me to do is finished." 
So 'Ala-ed-Din mounted to the kiosk and saw all the bays 
were perfect. And whilst he was inspecting them, lo, a 
eunuch came and said : " O my master, the Sultan cometh 
to thee, and entereth the palace gate." So 'Ala-ed-Din 
went down at once to meet him. When the Sultan saw him 
he cried: "O my son, wherefore hast thou done thus, and 
wouldest not let the jewellers finish the lattice of the kiosk, 
so that an unfinished spot remaineth in thy palace ? " And 
*Ala-ed-Din replied : " O King of the Age. I left it im- 
perfect only for a purpose ; for I was not unequal to finishing 
it, nor could I wish thy Felicity to honour me at a palace 
wherein anything was imperfect. But that thou mayest 
know that I am not incapable of perfecting it, I beg of thy 
Felicity to inspect the bays of the kiosk, and see if there be 
ausht unfinished there." So the King ascended to the 


apartments and entered the kiosk and began to look over it 
to the right and the left, but he found nothing whatever 
incomplete, but found all the bays perfect. And seeing 
this he was astonished, and embraced 'Ala-ed-Din and fell 
to kissing him, saying: "O my son, what strange doing is 
this ! In a single night thou canst accomplish a work which 
the jewellers would fail to do in months ! By Allah, I do 
not think thou hast a fellow or peer in the world." And 
'Ala-ed-Din replied: "God prolong thy life and continue 
thy length of days forever ! Thy servant is not worthy of 
such praise," But the King said, " O my son, verily thou 
art worthy of all praise, since thou hast accomplished a 
thing which all the workmen in the universe could not do," 
Then the Sultan descended and went to the apartments of 
his daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to rest with her ; and 
he saw that she was very happy at the state and magnifi- 
cence that surrounded her. and after resting awhile he 
returned to his palace. 

Every day 'Ala-ed-Din used to ride through the city 
with his memluks before and behind, scattering gold right 
and left among the people, and all the world, foreigners and 
neighbours, the far and the near, were alike drawn with love 
to him by reason of his excessive generosity and bounty. 
And he increased the provision for the poor and indigent, 
and himself gave them alms with his own hand; for which 
deeds he acquired great renown throughout the realm ; and 
many of the grandees of the state and the emirs ate at his 
table, and men sv/ore only "by his precious life! " And he 
went frequently to the chase and the Meydan and horse 
exercises and javelin jousts in the presence of the Sultan, 
And whenever the Lady Bedr-el-Budur saw him performing 
on the backs of horses, her love for him waxed stronger, 
and she thought within herself that God had been very 
gracious to her in causing to happen that which happened 
with the son of the Wezir, so that she was reserved to be 
the virgin bride of 'Ala-ed-Din, 

Thus 'Ala-ed-Din daily increased in fair fame and re- 
nown, and the love of him grew stronger in the hearts of 
all the subjects, and he was magnified in the eyes of the 
people. At this time, moreover, certain of the Sultan's 


enemies rode down against him, and the Suhan equipped 
the troops to resist them, and made 'Ala-ed-Din leader of 
the army. So 'Ala-ed-Din went with the troops, till he 
drew near to the enemy, whose armies were very strong. 
And he drew his sword, and rushed upon the enemy, and 
the battle and slaughter began, and the conflict was sturdy. 
But 'Ala-ed-Din broke them and dispersed them, killing the 
greater part, and looting their goods and provisions and 
cattle beyond number. Then he returned triumphant after 
a glorious victory, and made his entry into his city, who 
had adorned herself for him in her rejoicing over him. 
And the Sultan went forth to meet him and congratulated 
him and embraced and kissed him, and there was a mag- 
nificent fete and great rejoicings. And the Sultan and 
*Ala-ed-Din entered the palace, where there met him his 
bride, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, who w^as rejoicing over him. 
and kissed him between the eyes. And they went into her 
palace, and presently the Sultan and all sat down, and the 
damsels brought sherbets. So they drank ; and the Sultan 
ordered throughout the kingdom that they should illuminate 
for the victory of 'Ala-ed-Din over the enemy. And the 
chiefs and the soldiers and the crowd turned [their prayers] 
only to God in Heaven and 'Ala-ed-Din on earth, for they 
loved him exceedingly, because of the excess of his bounty 
and generosity and his fighting for his country, and his 
charge, and his rout of the foe. And thus was it witii 

But as to the Moorish sorcerer, when he had returned 
to his country, he spent all this time in lamenting the labour 
and trouble he had taken in his quest of the Lamp, and Uie 
more because his labour was fruitless ; and the morsel had 
fallen from his hand just as it was touching his lips. And 
he fell to thinking over all this, and lamented, and cursed 
*Ala-ed-Din in his exceeding rage, and at times he would 
mutter: "That this misbegotten boy is dead below ground 
I am satisfied, and P hope yet to get the Lamp, since it is 
still safe." 

One day of the days he drew a table in sand and put the 
figures down and examined them carefully and verified them, 
that he might perceive and be certified of the death of 


'Ala-ed-Din and the preservation of the Lamp, beneath the 
ground ; and he looked into the figures, both " mothers " 
and " daughters," intently, but he saw not the Lamp. At 
this, anger overcame him, and he drew the figure again, to 
be certain of 'Ala-ed-Din's death ; but he saw him not in 
the Treasury. So his rage increased and the more so when 
he ascertained that the boy was alive on the surface of the 
earth. And when he knew that he had come forth from 
underground and was possessed of the Lamp for which he 
himself had endured privations and labour such as man can 
hardly bear, then he said within himself: "I have borne 
many pains and suffered torments which no one else would 
have endured for the sake of the Lamp, and this cursed 
boy has taken it without an effort; and if this accursed 
knoweth the virtues of the Lamp, no one in the world should 
be richer than he." And he added: "There is nothing for 
it but that I compass his destruction." So he drew a second 
table, and inspecting the figures, discovered that 'Ala-ed-Din 
had acquired immense wealth and had married the daughter 
of the Sultan. So he was consumed with the flame of anger 
begotten of envy. 

He arose that very hour, and equipped himself, and 
journeyed to the land of China, and when he arrived at 
the metropolis wherein dwelt 'Ala-ed-Din, he entered and 
alighted at one of the Khans. And he heard the people 
talking of nothing but the splendour of 'Ala-ed-Din's palace. 
After tie had rested from his journey, he dressed himself 
and went down to perambulate the streets of the city. And 
he never met any people but they were admiring this palace 
and its splendour, and talking together of the beauty of 
'Ala-ed-Din and his grace and dignity and generosity and 
the charm of his manners. And the Moor approached one 
of those who were depicting 'Ala-ed-Din with these en- 
comiums, and said to him: "O gentle youth, who may this 
be whom ye praise and coitimend?" And the other replied: 
" It is evident that thou, O man. art a stranger and comest 
from distant parts ; but be thou from ever so distant a land, 
how hast thou not heard of the Emir 'Ala-ed-Din whose 
fame, methinks, hath filled the world and whose palace 
one of the Wonders of the World hath been heard of far 


and near? And how hast thou not heard anything of this 
or of the name of 'Ala-ed-Din, our Lord increase his glory 
and give him joy?" But the Moor answered: "Verily it 
is the height of my desire to see the palace, and if thou wilt 
do me the favour, direct me to it, since I am a stranger." 
Then the man said, " I hear and obey," and proceeded 
before him and guided him to the palace of *Ala-ed-Din. 
And the Moor began to examine it, and knew that it was 
all the doing of the Lamp, and cried: "Ah! There is 
nothing for it but that I dig a pit for this cursed son of 
a tailor, who could not even earn a supper. And if the 
fates aid me I will undoubtedly send his mother back to 
her spinning, as she was before; and as for him, I will take 
his life." 

He returned to the Khan in this state of grief and 
regret and sadness for envy of 'Ala-ed-Din. When he 
arrived at the Khan he took his instruments of divination 
and drew a table to discover where the Lamp was; and he 
found it was in the palace, and not on 'Ala-ed-Din himself. 
Whereat he rejoiced mightily, and said: "The task remaineth 
easy, to destroy the life of this accursed; and I have a way 
to obtain the Lamp." Then he went to a coppersmith and 
said : " Make me a number of lamps, and take their price, 
and more; only I wish thee to hasten to finish them." And 
the coppersmith answered, " I hear and obey." And he set 
to work at them and completed them ; and when they were 
done the Moor jiaid him the price he asked for them, and 
took them and departed and went to the Khan, where he 
put them in a basket. Then he went about the streets 
and bazars of the city, crying : " O who will exchange old 
lamps for new?" And when the people heard him crying 
thus, they laughed at him, saying: "No doubt this man is 
mad, since he goeth about to exchange old lamps for new." 
And all the world followed him, and the street boys pursued 
him from place to place and mocked at him ; but he gain- 
said them not nor cared for that, but did not cease perambu- 
lating the city till, he came under 'Ala-cd-Din's palace, when 
he began to cry in a louder voice, while the boys shouted 
at him, " Madman ! INIadman ! " 

Now by the decrees of destiny the Lady Bedr-el-Budur 


was in the kiosk, and hearing some one crying and the boys 
shouting at him. and not understanding what it was all 
about, she ordered one of her handmaids, saying: "Go and 
find out who it is that crieth and what he is crying." So 
the damsel went to look, and perceived a man crying: "O 
who will exchange old lamps for new?" and the boys 
around him making sport of him. And she returned and 
told her mistress Bedr-el-Budur, saying: "O my lady, this 
man is crying: 'O who will exchange old lamps for new?' 
and the urchins are following him and laughing at him." 
So the Lady Bedr-el-Budur laughed too at this oddity. 
Now 'Ala-ed-Din had left the Lamp in his apartment, 
instead of replacing it in the Treasury and locking it up, 
and one of the maids had seen it. So she said: "O my 
mistress, methinks I have seen in my master's room an old 
lamp; let us exchange it with this man for a new one, to 
find out if his cry be true or false." And the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur said to her: "Bring the Lamp which thou sayest 
thou didst see in thy master's room." For the Lady Bedr- 
el-Budur had no knowledge of the Lamp and its qualities, 
and that it was this which had brought 'Ala-cd-Din her 
husband to his present high station; and her chief desire 
was to try and discover the object of this man who ex- 
changed new lamps for old. So the damsel went and 
ascended to the apartment of 'Ala-ed-Din and brought the 
Lamp to her mistress, and none of them suspected the guile 
of the Moorish wizard and his cunning. Then the Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur ordered an agha of the eunuchs to go down 
and exchange the Lamp for a new one. So he took the 
Lamp and gave it to the Moor and received from him a 
new lamp, and returned to the Princess and gave her the 
exchange; and she, after examining it, saw it was really 
new, and fell a-laughing at the folly of the Moor. 

But he, when he got the Lamp and knew it was the 
Lamp of the Treasure, instantly put it in his bosom and 
abandoned the rest of the lamps to the people who were 
chaffering with him, and went running till he came to the 
outskirts of the city, when he walked on over the plains 
and waited patiently till night had fallen, and he saw that 
be was alone in the desert, and none there but he. Then 


he took forth the Lamp from his bosom and rubbed it, and 
immediately the Marid appeared to him, and said: "At 
thy service, I am thy slave in thy hands; ask of me what 
thou desirest." So the Moor replied: "I require thee to 
remove the palace of 'Ala-ed-Din from its site, with its 
inmates and all that is in it, and myself also, and set it in 
my country, the land of Africa. Thou knowest my town, 
and I wish this palace to be in my town, among the gardens." 
And the Marid slave replied, "I hear and obey. Shut thine 
eye and open it, and thou wilt find thyself in thy country 
along with the palace." And in a moment this was done, 
and the Moor and the palace of 'Ala-ed-Din and all in it 
were removed to the land of Africa. Thus was it with the 
Moorish sorcerer. 

To return to the Sultan and 'Ala-ed-Din. When the 
Sultan arose in the morning from his sleep, in his affection 
and love for his daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, he was 
wont every day when he was aroused from sleep to open 
the window and look out towards her. So he arose that 
day, as usual, and opened the window to look upon his 
daughter. But when he approached the window and looked 
towards the palace of 'Ala-ed-Din, he beheld nothing — nay, 
the place was as bare as it was of yore, and he saw neither 
palace nor any other building. And he was wrapped in 
amazement and distraught in mind ; and he rubbed his eyes, 
in case they were dimmed or darkened, and returned to his 
observation, till at last he was sure that no trace or vestige 
of the palace remained; and he knew not how or why it had 
disappeared. So his wonder increased, and he smote his 
hands together, and the tears trickled down over his beard, 
because he knew not what had become of his daughter. 

Then he sent at once and had the Wezir fetched. And 
he stood before him, and as soon as he came in he noticed 
the sorrowful state of his sovereign, and said to him : 
"Pardon, O King of the Age. God defend thee from 
calamity. Wherefore dost thou grieve?" The Sultan 
replied: "Perhaps thou dost not know my trouble?" And 
the Wezir said: "Not a whit, O my lord. By Allah, I have 
no knowledge of it whatever." Then said the Sultan : "It 
is evident thou hast not looked towards the palace of 


'Ala-ed-Din." "True, O my master," replied the Wezir, 
"it must now be still closed." Then said the King: "Since 
thou hast no knowledge of anything, arise and look out of 
the window and see where 'Ala-ed-Din's palace is which 
thou sayest is shut up." So the Wezir arose and looked 
out of the window towards the palace of 'Ala-ed-Din, and 
could espy nothing, neither palace nor anything else. So 
his reason was amazed and he was astounded, and returned 
to the Sultan, who said: "Dost thou know now the reason 
of my grief, and hast thou observed the palace of 'Ala-ed- 
Din which thou saidst was shut?" The Wezir answered: 
"O King of the Age, T informed thy Felicity before that 
this palace and all these doings were magic." Then the 
Sultan was inflamed with wrath, and cried out: "Where is 
'Ala-ed-Din?" He answered: "Gone to the chase." There- 
upon the Sultan instantly ordered some of his aghas and 
soldiers to go and fetch 'Ala-ed-Din, pinioned and shackled. 
So the aghas and soldiers proceeded till they came upon 
'Ala-ed-Din, whom they thus addressed: "Chastise us not, 
O our master 'Ala-ed-Din, for the Sultan hath commanded 
us to take thee chained and pinioned. So we beg thy 
pardon, for we are acting under the royal mandate, which 
we cannot oppose." When 'Ala-ed-Din heard the words of 
the aghas and soldiers, wonder took hold of him, and his 
tongue became tied, for he understood not the cause of this. 
Then turning to them, he said: "O company, have ye no 
knowledge of the cause of this order of the Sultan ? I know 
myself to be innocent, and to have committed no sin against 
the Sultan or against the kingdom." They answered: "O 
our master, we know no cause at all." Then 'Ala-ed-Din 
dismounted and said to them : "Do with me what the Sultan 
ordered, for the command of the Sultan must be on the 
head and the eye." Then the aghas chained 'Ala-ed-Din 
and manacled him and bound him with irons and led him 
to the city. And when the citizens saw him bound and 
chained with iron, they knew that the Sultan would cut off 
his head ; and since he was exceedingly beloved of them 
all, the lieges assembled together and brought their weapons 
and went forth from their houses and followed the soldiers 
to see what would be the event. 


When the troops with *Ala-ed-Din reached the palace^ 
they entered and told the Sultan; whereupon he straightway 
commanded the executioner to come and cut off his head. 
But when the citizens knew this, they barred the gates and 
shut the doors of the palace, and sent a message to the 
Sultan, saying: "We will instantly pull down thy house 
over thy head and all others in it, if any mischief or harm 
come to 'Ala-ed-Din.'' So the Wezir went in and informed 
the Sultan, saying: "O King of the Age, thy command is 
about to seal the book of our lives. It were better to 
pardon 'Ala-ed-Din lest there come upon us the calamity of 
calamities ; for the lieges love him more than us." Now 
the executioner had already spread the carpet of death, and 
seated 'Ala-ed-Din thereon, and bandaged his eyes, and had 
walked round him thrice, waiting for the King's command, 
when the Sultan looking out of the window, beheld his 
subjects attacking him and scaling the walls with intent to 
pull them down. So he immediately ordered the execu- 
tioner to stay his hand, and bade the herald go out to the 
crowd and proclaim that he had pardoned 'Ala-ed-Din and 
granted him grace. When 'Ala-ed-Din saw he was free, and 
espied the Sultan seated on his throne, he drew near and 
said to him: "O my lord, since thy Felicity hath been 
gracious to me all my life, vouchsafe to tell me what is my 
offence." Then the Sultan said: "O traitor, hitherto I 
knew of no offence in thee." And turning to the Wezir. he 
said : "Take him and shew him from the windows where 
his palace is." And when the Wezir had led him and he 
had looked out of the window in the direction of his palace, 
he found the site bare as it was before he built his palace 
thereon; and he saw never a vestige of the palace at all. 
So he was amazed and bewildered and knew not what had 
happened. And when he returned, the King asked him: 
"What hast thou seen? Where is thy palace, and where is 
my daughter, the kernel of my heart, my only child, than 
■whom I have none other?" And 'Ala-ed-Din answered: 
"O King of the Age, I know not at all, nor what this is 
that hath occurred." Then said the Sultan: "Know, O 
*Ala-ed-Din, that I have pardoned thee in order that thou 
mayest go and look into this matter and search for my 


daughter for me; and do not present thyself without her; 
for if thou bringcst her not, by my life I will cut off thy 
head." 7\nd 'Ala-ed-Din replied: "I hear and obey, O 
King of the Age. Only grant me a delay of forty days, and 
then if I do not bring her, cut off my head and do what 
thou wilt." And the Sultan answered: "I grant thee a 
delay of forty days, as thou askest, but think not to escape 
from my hand, for I would bring thee back even if thou wert 
up in the clouds instead of on the face of the earth." "O 
my lord the Sultan," said 'Ala-ed-Din, "as I told thy 
Felicity, if I fail to bring her at the appointed time, I will 
come and have my head cut off." 

Now when all the people and citizens saw that 'Ala-ed- 
Din was released, they rejoiced with exceeding joy and 
were glad at his escape; but the shame of what had befallen 
him, and bashfulness, and the jealous satisfaction [of his 
enemies] caused 'Ala-ed-Din's head to droop. So he went 
wandering about the city, and was bewildered at the case 
and knew not what had happened to him. For two days he 
remained in the city, in a sorrowful state, knowing not how 
to find his wife and palace, while some of the people 
brought him food and drink. After the two days he left 
the city, and wandered about the desert in an aimless 
manner, and walked on withoiit stopping till the road led 
him beside a river, where, in the heaviness of the grief that 
oppressed him he gave up hope, and longed to throw 
himself into the river. But being a Muslim, and professing 
the Unity of God, he feared God in his soul, and he stood 
at the river's bank to perform the religious ablutions. Now 
as he was taking the water in his hands, he began to rub his 
fingers together, and. so doing, he chanced to rub the Ring. 
Thereupon the Marid [of the Ring] appeared and said: "At 
thy service ! Thy slave is in thy hands. Ask of me what thou 
desirest." And when he saw the Marid, 'Ala-ed-Din rejoiced 
with great joy, and said: "O Slave, I desire thee to bring me 
my palace and my wife, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, in it, and all 
else that it containeth." But the Marid answered: "O my 
master thou askest a hard matter which I cannot do. This 
thing pertaineth to the Slave of the Lamp, and I am not able 
to attempt it." So 'Ala-ed-Din replied: "Since this thing is 


beyond thy power, take me only and place me beside my 
palace wherever it may be on the earth." And the Slave 
answered: "I hear and obey, O my master." So the Marid 
bore him away, and in the twinkling of an eye set him 
down beside his palace in the land of Africa, in front of 
the apartment of his wife. It was then nightfall, yet he 
espied the palace and knew it to be his. And his grief 
vanished, and he hoped in God, after hope had been cut off, 
that he should see his wife once more. And he began to 
consider the mysterious workings of God (glory to his 
omnipotence!), and how the Ring had cheered him, when 
all hope would have died had not God aided him with the 
Slave of the Ring. So he rejoiced, and all his tribulation 
left him. And as he had gone four days without sleep, from 
the heaviness of his grief and anxiety and excess of ponder- 
ing, he went beside the palace and slept under a tree ; for, 
as hath been said, the palace was amid the gardens of Africa 
outside the city. 

That night he slept beside the palace under a tree in 
perfect repose, though he whose head belongeth to the 
headsman sleepeth not of nights save when drowsiness 
compelleth him. But for the space of four days sleep had 
deserted him. So he slept till broad day, when he was 
awakened by the warbling of birds, and arose and went to the 
river there, which flowed to the city, and washed his hands 
and face, and performed the ablutions, and said the morning- 
prayer. And when he had done praying he returned and 
sat under the window of the apartment of the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur. Now she, in the excess of her grief at her separa- 
tion from her husband and from the Sultan, her father, and 
the horror of what had befallen her from the accursed 
Moorish wizard, was wont to arise every day at the streak 
of dawn, and to sit weeping; for she slept not at all of 
nights, and avoided food and drink. And her handmaiden 
would come to her at prayer-time to dress her, and as fate 
had decreed, the girl had opened the window at that instant 
in order for her to look upon the trees and the streams and 
console herself. And the maid looked out of the window 
and discovered 'Ala-ed-Din, her master, sitting beneath the 
apartment, and she said to the Lady Bedr-el-Budur: "O my 


mistress, O my mistress ! Here is my master 'Ala-ed-Din 
sitting imder the window." So the Lady Bedr-el-Budur arose 
in haste and looked out of the window and saw him, and 
'Ala-ed-Din turned his head and saw her, and she greeted 
him and he greeted her, and they were both like to fly with 
joy. And she said to him : "Arise and come in to me by 
the secret door, now that the accursed is away." And she 
bade the girl descend and open the secret door for him. 
And 'Ala-ed-Din arose and entered thereby, and his wife, 
the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, met him at the door, and they 
embraced and kissed one another in perfect bliss till they 
began to weep from excess of happiness. And when they 
were seated 'Ala-ed-Din said to her: "O Lady Bedr-el-Budur, 
before anything it is my wish to ask thee somewhat. It was 
my habit to put an old copper lamp in my apartment in a 
certain place. . . .'' When the Lady Bedr-el-Budur heard 
this, she sighed and said : "Alas, my beloved, it was that 
Lamp that was the cause of our falling into this misfortune." 
And 'Ala-ed-Din asked her, "How did this affair happen ?" 
And she told him the whole story from first to last, and how 
they had exchanged the old lamp for a new one. And she 
added: "The next day we hardly saw one another in the 
morning before we found ourselves in this country ; and he 
who cozened us and exchanged the Lamp told me that he 
had done this by force of magic by the aid of the Lamp, 
and that he is a Moor of Africa, and we are in his town." 

When the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had done speaking, 'Ala- 
ed-Din said to her: "Tell me what this accursed is going to 
do with thee, and what and how 1^ speaketh to thee, and 
what is his will of thee." She answered : "He cometh to 
see me every day only once, and he would win me to love 
him, and marry him instead of thee, and forget thee and be 
consoled for thee. And he saith that the Sultan, my father, 
hath cut off thy head, and telleth me that thou art of poor 
people, and that he is the cause of thy wealth. And he 
blandisheth me with his words, but he never seeth in me 
anything but tears and weeping, and he hath not heard a 
kind word from me." Then 'Ala-ed-Din said : "Tell me, 
if thou knowest, where he keepeth the Lamp." But she 
replied: "He carryeth it always with him, and it is not 


possible to part him from it for a single instant. But once, 
when he told me what I had related to thee, he took it from 
his bosom and shewed it to me." So when 'Ala-ed-Din 
heard these words he rejoiced greatly, and said: "O Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur, listen. I propose to go out now and return 
after changing my dress. So be not surprised at it ; but 
instruct one of thy maidens to stand by the private door till 
she see me, and then open it at once. And now I will plot 
how to slay this Accursed." 

Therefore 'Ala-ed-Din arose and went forth from the 
palace gate, and proceeded till he met by the way a peasant, 
to whom he said : " O man, take my clothes and give me 
thine." But the peasant would not do so. So 'Ala-ed-Din 
compelled him and took his clothes from him and put them 
on, and gave him his own costly robes. Then he went 
along the road till he reached the city. And he went to the 
bazar of the perfumers and bought of them some potent 
benj, the son of an instant,* buying two drachms of it for 
two dinars. Then he returned along the road till he came 
to the palace; and when the slave-girl saw him she opened 
the private door. And he entered to the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, and said to her : "Listen ! I wish thee to dress 
and adorn thyself and dismiss grief ; and when this damned 
Moor cometh, do thou receive him with a pleasant wel- 
come, and meet him with a smiling face, and bid him 
come and sup with thee; and shew him that thou hast 
forgotten thy beloved 'Ala-ed-Din and thy father, and 
that thou lovest him with vehement love. Then ask him 
for a drink, and let it^De red wine; and, shewing all the 
tokens of joy and happiness, drink to his secret; and when 
thou hast served him with three cups of wine, so as to make 
him careless, put this powder in the cup and crown it with 
wine; and as soon as he drinketh this cup wherein thou 
hast put this powder, he shall instantly fall, like a dead man, 
on his back." And when the Lady Bedr-el-Budur heard 
these words of 'Ala-ed-Din she said : "This is an exceedingly 
difficult thing for me to do; but to escape from the prof- 
anation of this accursed, who hath afflicted me with separa- 
tion from thee and from thy father, it is lawful to kill the 

' /. c, which took effect in a moment. 


wretch." Then, after 'Ala-ed-Din had eaten and drunk 
with his wife and appeased his hunger, he arose without 
delay or hindrance and went forth from the palace. 

Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur sent for her tirewoman, 
who attired her and adorned her and put on her handsomest 
dress and perfumed her. And whilst she was doing so, 
behold, the cursed Moor appeared. And when he looked 
at her in this array, he rejoiced greatly, and all the more 
when she received him with a smiling face, contrary to her 
habit; and his love for her increased, and he desired her 
passionately. Then she took him by her side and seated 
him, saying: "O my beloved, if thou wilt, come to me this 
night and let us sup together. Enough of sorrow have I 
had, and were I to sit mourning for a thousand years or 
two, 'Ala-ed-Din would not come back to me from the 
grave. And I rely upon what thou saidst yesterday, that 
my father slew him in his sorrow at my absence. Do not 
wonder that I am changed since yesterday ; it is because I 
have resolved to take thee as my lover and intimate instead 
of 'Ala-ed-Din, for I have no other man than thee. So 
I look for thy coming to me to-night, that we may sup 
together and drink a little wine with one another. And it 
is my desire that thou give me to taste of the wine of thy 
native Africa; perhaps it is better than ours. I have with 
me some wine of our country, but I desire greatly to taste 
the wine of thine." 

When the Moor saw the love which the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur displayed towards him, and how she was changed 
from her former melancholy, he believed she had given up 
hope of 'Ala-ed-Din, and he rejoiced greatly, and said, "O 
my soul, I hear and obey whatever thou desirest and biddest 
me. I have in my house a jar of wine of my country, which 
I have kept laid up underground for eight years ; and now 
I am going to draw sufficient for us, and will return to thee 
speedily." But the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, in order to coax 
him more and more, said : "O my dearest, do not go thy- 
self, and leave me; but send one of the servants to fill for 
us from it, and remain here sitting by me that I may con- 
sole myself with thee." But he said : "O my mistress, none 
knoweth but I where the jar is, and I will not tarry long 


away from thee." So the Moor went out, and after a Httle 
time returned with as much wine as they needed. Then 
the Lady Bedr-el-Budur said to him: "Thou hast taken 
pains for me, and I have suffered for thy sake, O beloved." 
And he answered : " Not so, O my eye ; I am honoured in 
serving thee." Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur sat with him 
at the table, and they ate, and presently the lady asked him 
for drink; and immediately the handmaid filled for her a 
goblet, and then filled another for the Moor. So she drank 
to his long life and his secret, and he to her life ; and she 
made a boon-fellow of him. Now the Lady Bedr-el-Budur 
was accomplished in eloquence and refinement of speech, 
and she bewitched him by addressing him in a delicious 
way, so that he might become more in love with her. But 
the Moor thought this was sincere, and did not imagine that 
her love was feigned, a snare to kill him. And his infatu- 
ation for her increased, and he almost died of love when he 
saw her shew him such sweetness of word and thought ; and 
his head swam, and the world seemed nothing in his eye. 

When they came to the end of the supper and the wine 
had already mastered his bi'ain, and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur 
observed it, she said : " We have a custom in our country, 
but I know not if ye have it here. Tell me if ye have or 
not." And the Moor asked, "What is this custom?" "At 
the end of supper," she replied, " for every one to take the 
cup of his beloved and drink it." ^nd she forthwith took 
his cup and filled it with wine for herself, and bade the 
handmaid give him her cup, wherein was wine mixed with 
the benj. Now the maid knew what to do, for all the maids 
and eunuchs in the palace wished for his death, and sym- 
pathised with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. So the girl gave 
him the cup, and he, when he heard her words and saw her 
drinking out of his cup and giving him hers to drink, thought 
himself Alexander the Great, Lord of the two Horns, as he 
gazed upon all these tokens of love. Then she said to him, 
undulating her sides, and putting her hand in his: "O my 
soul, here is thy cup in my hand, and my cup in thine ; thus 
do lovers drink from one another's cups." Then she kissed 
his cup and drank it and put it down and came to him and 
kissed him on the lips. And he flew with delight, and 


resolved to do as she did, and raised the cup to his mouth 
and drank it off, without thinking if there were anything in 
it or not. And instantly, in a moment, he fell on his back, 
like a corpse, and the cup fell from his hand. 

Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur rejoiced, and the maidens 
ran and opened the door to 'Ala-ed-Din, their master, who 
came in, and went up to his wife's room, and found her 
sitting at the table, with the Moor lying in front of her like 
a dead man. And he drew near and kissed her and thanked 
her. Then rejoicing with excessive joy, he turned to her 
and said : " Do thou and thy slave-girls retire to thy apart- 
ment and leave me alone now, that I may arrange my plan." 
And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur delayed not, but went, she and 
her maidens. Then 'Ala-ed-Din arose, and locking the door 
after them, went up to the Moor and put his hand into his 
bosom and took forth the Lamp; after which he drew his 
sword and cut ofif his head. Then he rubbed the Lamp, 
and there appeared the Marid slave, who .said: "At thy 
service, O my master. What wilt thou?" And 'Ala-ed- 
Din answered: "I desire thee to lift this palace from this 
country and bear it to the land of China, and set it down in 
the place where it was, opposite the Sultan's palace." And 
the Marid replied, " I hear and obey, O my master." Then 
'Ala-ed-Din went and sat with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, his 
wife, and embraced and kissed her, and she him. And 
they sat in company while the Marid carried the palace and 
set it in its place opposite the palace of the Sultan. 

And 'Ala-ed-Din ordered the maids to bring a table 
before him, and seated himself, he and the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, his wife ; and they fell to eating and drinking in all 
joy and happiness till they were satisfied. Then withdraw- 
ing to the hall of carousal, they sat and drank and caroused 
and kissed each other in perfect bliss. For the time had 
been long since they had enjoyed themselves together. So 
they ceased not till the sun of wine shone in their heads, 
and drowsiness overcame them. Then they arose and went 
to bed in all contentment. Next morning 'Ala-cd-Din arose 
and awoke his wife, the Lady Bedr-cl-Budur ; and the slave- 
girls came and dressed and arrayed and adorned her, while 
'Ala-ed-Din put on his handsomest dress, and both were like 


to fly for joy at their re-union after separation. And the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur was the more happy that day, because 
she was going to see her father. Thus was it with *Ala-ed- 
Din and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. 

But as for the Sultan, after he had banished 'Ala-ed-Din, 
he never ceased grieving for his daughter; and every hour 
of every day he would sit and weep for her like a woman, 
for she was his only child and he had none other. And as 
he shook off his slumber, morning after morning, he would 
go in haste to the window and open it and look where 
'Ala-ed-Din's palace once stood, and his tears would flow 
till his eyes were dry and his eyelids sore. Now that day 
he arose at daybreak and looked out as usual, when, lo, he 
espied before him a building; so he rubbed his eyes and 
considered it attentively till he was sure it was 'Ala-ed-Din's 
palace. So he ordered his horse instantly on the spot, and 
when it was saddled he went down and mounted and went 
to 'Ala-ed-Din's palace. And when his son-in-law saw him 
coming, he went down to meet him half-way, and took him 
by the hand and led him to the apartments of the Lady 
Bedr-el-Budur, his daughter. And she, being very anxious 
to see her father, came down and met him at the door of 
the staircase in front of the hall on the ground floor. So 
her father embraced her and kissed her, and wept, and she 
likewise. Then 'Ala-ed-Din led him to the upper rooms, 
and they sat ; and the Sultan asked her of her state and 
what had befallen her. And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur told 
him all that had happened to her, and said : " O my father, 
I did not arrive till yesterday, when I saw my husband. 
And it was he who delivered me from the power of that 
man, the Moor, the wizard, the accursed. Methinks on the 
earth's face there is none viler than he. And but for 'Ala- 
ed-Din, my beloved, I had not escaped from him, nor hadst 
thou seen me again all my days. But heavy grief and sorrow 
took possession of me, O my father, not only for my separa- 
tion from thee, but also for the parting from my husband, 
in whose debt I shall be all the days of my life, seeing he 
delivered me from that accursed wizard." Then she began 
to relate to her father all that had befallen her. and how the 
Moor had cheated her in the shape of a seller of lamps, 


exchanging new for old, and how she had thought this his 
folly and laughed at him, and being deceived, had taken the 
old lamp that was in her husband's room and sent it by a 
eunuch and exchanged it for a new lamp. " And the next 
day, O my father, we found ourselves, with the palace and 
all besides, in the land of Africa. And I knew not the 
virtue of the Lamp which I exchanged till my husband 
came and plotted a stratagem by which we escaped. And 
had he not helped us, the accursed would have possessed 
himself of me by force. But 'Ala-ed-Din, my husband, gave 
me a potion and I put it into his wine-cup, and I gave it 
him, and he drank and fell down like a corpse. Thereupon 
my husband, 'Ala-ed-Din, came in, and I know not how it 
was done, but we were carried from Africa to our place 
here." And 'Ala-ed-Din said : " O my lord, when I ascended 
and saw him like the dead, drimk and drowsy with benj, I 
told the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to go, she and her maids, to 
the inner apartments, and she arose and went, she- and her 
maids, from that polluted place. Then I drew near to that 
accursed Moor and put my hand into his bosom, and drew 
out the Lamp (for the Lady Bcdr-el-Budur had informed me 
that he always kept it there), and when I had taken it, I 
bared my sword and cut off his damnable head. Then I 
worked the Lamp and ordered its Slave to bear the palace 
and all therein and set it down in this spot. And if thy 
Felicity doubt my words, arise with me and look upon this 
cursed Moor." So the King arose and went with 'Ala-ed- 
Din to the apartment and saw the Moor, and immediately 
commanded that they should take the carcase away and 
burn it and scatter the ashes to the winds. 

Then the Sultan embraced 'Ala-ed-Din and fell a-kissing 
him, saying : " Forgive me, O my son, that I was going to 
take thy life, through the wickedness of this cursed sorcerer, 
who threw thee into this calamity, but I may be excused, 
my son, for what I did to thee, since I saw myself deprived 
of my daughter, the only child I have, dearer to me than 
my kingdom. Thou knowest how the hearts of parents 
yearn over their children, and the more when they are like 
me, who have only the Lady Bedr-el-Budur." Thus the 
Sultan began excusing himself to 'Ala-ed-Din and kissing 


him. But 'Ala-ed-Din replied : "O King of the Age, thou 
didst nothing to me contrary to law, nor did I sin against 
thee ; but all this arose from the j\Ioor, that filthy wizard." 
Then the Sultan ordered that the city should be decorated, 
and they adorned it, and the rejoicings and festivities were 
held. And he ordered the herald to proclaim through the 
streets: "This day is a high festival, and let rejoicings be 
held throughout the kingdom for a whole month of thirty 
days, for the return of the Lady Bedr-el-Budur and her 
husband." Thus was it with 'Ala-ed-Din and the Moor. 

Yet 'Ala-ed-Din was not wholly quit of that accursed 
Moor, although his body had been burnt and its ashes 
scattered to the winds. For this miscreant had a brother 
viler than himself, and even more skilled in necromancy and 
geomancy and astrology, — "two beans split," as the proverb 
saith. Each dwelt in his own region of the world, to fill it 
with his spells, his deceit, and his wickedness. Now it 
chanced one day that this brother wished to know how 
it was with the Moor ; and he brought out his table and 
marked the figures, and carefully inspecting them, discovered 
that his brother was in the abode of the tomb. So he 
mourned, being assured of his death. Then he tried a 
second time, to see how he died and the place of his death ; 
and he found that he died in China and had perished by the 
vilest of slaughter, and that his destroyer was a youth named 
'Ala-ed-Din. So he forthwith arose and prepared for a 
journey, and travelled over plains and wastes and mountains 
a number of months, till he came to the land of China and 
the metropolis wherein 'Ala-ed-Din dwelt. And he went to 
the foreigners' Khan and hired a room and rested there 
awhile. Then he arose to wander about the streets of the 
city to find a way for the accomplishment of his fell design, 
of wreaking vengeance upon 'Ala-ed-Din for his brother. 

Presently he entered a coffee-house in the bazar. It was 
a large place, and many people had gathered together there